Mitch Tacy Family Law

Fort Collins Do-it-Yourself Divorce Resources Larimer self help

Take your Time Filing for a Colorado Divorce-Don’t Rush Into It!

Too often we see people rush to file for divorce. Please consider your best and worst case scenario of life after divorce before you file anything.  Make sure that before you file that you understand the process of a Larimer or Weld County divorce. It is important to have a firm understanding of your financial picture today and what it will be like after your divorce. Have you considered health insurance policies after you are no longer covered by your spouses insurance? Have you come up with a plan for parenting time? Do you know how much you will owe in child support? Where you will live and how you will support yourself and your spouse if necessary,  during and after your divorce?  Once you file a Petition for Dissolution you are now on the Courts time. The clock is ticking and the Courts will not wait for you, your divorce is in action, status conferences and mediation will be scheduled and things may start moving very fast.  By the time you figure out you need an attorney it may be to late to get an experienced family law attorney to enter into your case. Attorneys are reluctant to get involved while you are deep in the process because you may have made mistakes that they can not fix for you-it may be too late. Local attorneys are often booked well into the future and may already have a full calendar of existing clients. Take your time and do not rush into filing.

Think carefully before representing yourself!

If you are filing your divorce, child support or parental allocations case as pro se (meaning “for yourself” in latin), it will be time consuming and often extremely difficult to get the results you need if you have contested issues.  Although the Larimer County District Court and Weld County District Court provide forms free on line,  it can be a challenge to determine which forms and fees are applicable to your case.  Please consider how your case will impact you in the future if you lose your case.  Your family law issue can impact your life emotionally and financially for many years.   We understand that sometimes paying a retainer and hiring an attorney is simply not an option. If you can not afford a retainer please consider hiring the best Fort Collins family law attorney you can find to review your paperwork.  Make sure the lawyer has extensive experience with Colorado family law cases. Consider hiring one attorney as a mediator to help you and your spouse work out the division of assets and debts before you file.

Beware of free advice! Colorado is a “no fault” divorce state.

Everyone who has been through a divorce or child custody case (or had a friend or relative recently go through a divorce) will want to give you helpful advice.  Unless they are a licensed Colorado attorney, practicing family law please do not make any legal decisions based on information given to you by a non-attorney. This includes receiving advice from people who work for attorneys but are not attorneys themselves. Every single case is different. What your next door neighbor “won” may be very different in your case.

Colorado in a “no-fault” divorce state. The reasons for your divorce, (cheating, drug abuse, financial misconduct, abandonment, chronic unemployment, etc…) will not be heard by the Judge. It is not necessary to gather evidence that your spouse was/is unfaithful.  It only takes one person to file for a divorce and the only reason for divorce in Colorado  is “the Marriage is irretrievably broken”.   In a Colorado divorce with kids, unlawful behavior will be admissible in child custody/parental rights cases as the Court is considering what is in the best interest of the child(ren). How that information is presented may be critical to your case. Please consult with an experienced, (Fort Collins, Loveland or Greeley),  family law attorney immediately if for any reason your children’s physical or mental health is at risk.

It makes no legal difference who is listed as “the Petitioner” and who is listed as “the Respondent” in domestic relations cases. There is no legal advantage to the person who files first.

Mitch Tacy is a Fort Collins Family Law Lawyer that works with people filing for divorce themselves- No retainer!

Pay what you can for un-bundled (meaning hiring an attorney for specific legal tasks while representing yourself) legal services

Divorce and family laws, rules and procedures can be hard to understand.  Go to Court knowing what a Judge wants and needs to hear to understand why your position is “fair and equitable or reasonable”. Know the best way to present your pro se (self-representation) case. At at an hourly rate of $200.00, attorney Mitch Tacy will review your case and your documentation with you (step-by step) to help you realistically approach the Court with your reasonable request on an advice only basis. He will not be entering an appearance or be listed as your “attorney” on legal paperwork.  This is a by-the-hour legal service arrangement.

How Pay as You go legal help works

If you are facing divorce because you have been served with divorce papers or are planning to file for divorce yourself visit the Larimer and Weld County District Court resources below to learn about the divorce  process, print our your forms, fill them out to the best of your ability. When you have finished your Sworn Financial Statement and have a good idea of what the equitable division of assets and debts will be in your case you can hire Mitch Tacy on an hourly basis to review or prepare your paperwork, the maintenance calculations, child support calculations, allocation of parenting time and motions before you submit any paperwork to the Court. 

Services that Mitch Tacy provides for people who represent themselves

  • Review your case and strategy-Is what you are submitting fair and equitable in the eyes of the Court or will you be at a disadvantage by your actions?

  • Prepare your legal documents

  • Determine what your Colorado child support obligation is

  • Determine if you will be required to pay maintenance under the new 2014 Colorado maintenance statute

 

If you choose to represent yourself a great place to start is at the Larimer County Court House or the Weld County Court House depending on where your case will be filed:

Larimer County Justice Center-Mitch Tacy Fort Collins Divorce Lawyer

8th Judicial District Larimer County Self-Help Center

Located on the first floor of the Larimer County Court House this (recently opened) resource is a great place to start. The staff will answer questions about forms, the legal process, and the legal system, however they cannot provide legal advice. The Larimer County Self-Help Personnel are neutral information providers so they will provide the same services and information to all parties in a case, if requested.

They can help you locate and access forms, check your forms for completeness and check your case status. The center is often very busy so you may end up standing in a line for quite a while. We recommend you make an appointment via e-mail at 08selfhelp@judicial.state.co.us. The center is open Monday and Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Wednesdays from noon to 4:00 PM and Thursdays by appointment only.

Check out these free Larimer County classes for do-it-yourselfers

Larimer County Self Help Center Pro Se Class

FREE Class on filing Dissolution of Marriage (divorce), Legal Separation, Custody and Dissolution or Legal Separation of Civil Union

When: First and Third Tuesday of each month at 3:00 PM

Where: Larimer County Justice Center, in the Self Help Center on the first floor

The Self Help Center staff conducts this class to help you understand the Court processes and forms. It’s a free class for you to get the information and help you need! This is not legal representation- it’s only an informational resource.

“Doing Your Own Divorce in Colorado” & “Allocation of Parental Responsibility”

Presented by the Larimer County Bar Association Pro Bono Program

When: Second and fourth Monday of each month

Time: 3:00 to concluded (please arrive by 3:00 PM for application)

Where: Larimer County Justice Center in the second floor Jury room

 This free clinic provides attorney assistance and legal information, from advising participants what paperwork will be required throughout the Court proceedings to answering some basic questions. This class is taught by attorneys wishing to educate the public on how to represent themselves in actions brought before the domestic Courts in Larimer County. Important Note: Court forms will not be available in class. You must download the forms at www.courts.state.co.us or purchase a packet at the Clerks desk in the Larimer County Justice Center.

Greeley Self Help Center

 

The Weld County Combined Court Information Center

Located on the first floor of the Centennial building in the Greeley Court House complex at 915 10th Street in downtown Greeley. Open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 and by appointment on Thursday. Public access computers are available for research and filling out forms on line. The staff will provide information about the legal process but cannot provide legal advice.

Helpful Colorado Divorce and Child Custody Brochures, Books and Forms

Filing for Divorce Without Children– a step-by-step brochure and check list provided by the Colorado Judicial Branch. This is a handy guide that covers:

  • Facts about Filing for a Divorce in Colorado District Court
  • Divorce Forms
  • Information about filing a petition
  • Temporary Orders
  • The Financial Affidavit
  • Distinguishing Separate Property from Marital property
  • Separation Agreement/Disclosure Form
  • The Permanent Orders and Decree

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/File/Court_Probation/19th_Judicial_District/Family_Court/divwithoutweb.pdf

Connecting With Your Kids: Important Information on Parenting Time in Colorado by Jane A. Irvine M.A. This is a very comprehensive read for divorcing parents with kids. It covers:

  • Joint and Sole Custody
  • Parental Responsibility
  • Determining Parenting Time
  • Supervised Parenting Time
  • Custody Orders
  • Establishing Parenting Time
  • Mediation and Modifying Parenting Time
  • Enforcing Parenting Time
  • Objections to Parenting Time

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Media/Brochures/parentingtimebook.pdf

Divorce FAQ-Domestic Divorce- This is a quick two page look at basic Colorado divorce terms and the links to forms that are already provided above. The problem is it does not tell you which form is appropriate as several forms may be listed under this sampling of topics:

  • Divorce
  • Declaration of Invalidity
  • Dissolution-legal Separation-NO CHILDREN
  • Dissolution-legal Separation-WITH CHILDREN
  • Grandparent Rights
  • Contempt of Court
  • Modify Child Support

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Self_Help/FAQ’s/FAQ’s%20and%20answers%20DIVORCE.pdf

Representing yourself in Divorce without children This is a comprehensive, 5 page legal guide it includes legal terms, forms, procedural information and Court costs.
http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/renderForm1.cfm?Form=50

Colorado Court Domestic legal forms
http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm?Form_Type_ID=108

Still Need Help?

There is no substitute for the guidance and assistance of an experienced local Fort Collins Family Law Attorney especially if you end up going to trial.

Mitch Tacy Family Law Attorney & Mediator
155 E. Boardwalk Drive, Suite 464, Fort Collins, CO  80525
1635 Foxtrail Drive, Suite 356, Loveland, CO  80538
970-214-8840
www.tacylaw.com

  • Call (970) 214-8840





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