in our society suffer the difficult and agonizing effects of separation,
divorce and child custody matters. The law firm of Charles E. Longtine,
P.C. is experienced in assisting individuals facing these types
of difficult situations.
Areas of Practice
- Legal Separation
- Child Custody
- Child Support and Parenting Time
- Spousal Maintenance (Alimony)
- Property Division
- Modification of Orders already in place
What is Divorce?
- Divorce is:
(a) the dissolution of the bonds of marriage;
( b) the legal process of getting out of a marriage.
What if your spouse is divorcing you?
- Under present "no fault divorce"
law in Colorado, if your spouse files for divorce and asserts
that the marriage is "irretrievably
broken" (for whatever
reason - good or bad), he or she will be able
to get out of the marriage, regardless of your own preferences.
- Many people whose spouses are filing divorce actions against
them do not want the divorce to go through, and would like to
keep the marriage intact. In such cases, you may be able to
appeal to your spouse and/or get others involved to stop or
slow down the process and try to resolve the problems leading
to the filing of the divorce.
- If your spouse is divorcing you, it
is often wise to retain an attorney for representation
in the matter. Though legal representation can often be expensive,
it can be less expensive in the long run by protecting relational
interests and rights with children, as well as protecting financial
and property rights afforded by law.
What kind of divorce or domestic attorney should you get?
- It depends on what your goals
are in the divorce. You will probably want an attorney who shares
your values and will
help you attain your goals. Attorneys have different
philosophies of the nature of divorce, when divorce is appropriate
or not, alternatives to divorce,
the process of divorce and/or of resolving conflicts, etc.
- If you have minor children
and you will be sharing custody
("parenting time") with your spouse and will
see your spouse on a regular basis, you may value preserving
some of the relationship with your spouse after the divorce.
Other people want nothing to do with their spouse after the
- Some attorneys care about the effects of divorce on the respective
parties and their children; other attorneys look at the client
merely as a means of making money out of the divorce or getting
the most money for their client regardless of the effects on
the relationships of the parties or their children.
- As a Christian, I personally take the approach that maintaining
some semblance of a relationship with the other spouse outweighs
the need to “get back” at the other party either financially
Is divorce your only option?
Personally, as a Christian and as an attorney, I
place a high value on the institution of marriage. One of my goals
as an attorney is to educate prospective clients regarding the
options with respect to marital problems, the last of which is
divorce. The fact is, divorce is a very difficult matter to go
through. We all hate it and fear it - especially kids who are
facing the prospect of their parents getting split up. In addition,
God hates divorce - He sees how it ravages marriages and families
and others, and wants to keep us from being hurt by it. I recognize
that my views do not represent the views of everyone in our society
or the views of many other attorneys who practice family law.
And I might be turning away business by making some of the following
comments. Regardless, my job is not primarily to get people divorced,
but to solve problems. Sometimes divorce is a proper solution
and other times it is not.
I have relatives, friends, neighbors and clients who have gone
through the heartache of divorce, and I have walked with many
of them through those challenging times. It saddens me every time.
I have also seen the gut-wrenching effects and anguish of children
whose parents have gone through divorce. Divorce is not necessarily
a fix to marital problems since the side effects of divorce can
be as or more costly than the marital problems themselves. There
are many people who believe that going through divorce is more
difficult than dealing with the death of a loved one. Therefore,
if there is any way that a broken marriage can be restored, it
would be worth the effort to restore it, and there are many pastors,
priests, counselors and organizations (www.familylife.com
) who are available to help spouses with marital problems. I have
seen and heard of many broken marriages that have been made whole
through God's help and the help of others. Nothing is too difficult
with God! At the same time, restoring a broken marriage takes
willingness and effort and commitment from both spouses, and if
one or both of the spouses is not willing or committed, then healing
the brokenness can be difficult or nearly impossible.
Most cultures of the world, including ours in the United States,
hold marriage as a sacred institution. Most people who get married
exchange vows of love, faithfulness, care, provision, protection,
etc. They often repeat to one another, "I take you.. to have and
to hold," and "I will love and cherish you," and "I promise to
be true to you in good times and bad, in sickness and in health,
for richer or poorer," and "until death do us part." Making those
promises is the easy part. Keeping them is not so easy.
Marriage is hard. It is not easy. It requires:
(a) God's grace;
(b) commitment and hard work from husband and wife; and
(c) help from others. Marriages have high points and low points.
Bailing out in a low point is usually not a good idea. There is
hope even for marriages in low points. We grow strong during the
hard times of our lives if we can learn to put our trust in God
and rely on help from others as well. There is hope even in the
darkest of times.
Unfortunately, since the 1960's when states began enacting "no-fault
divorce" statutes, divorce has become the easy way out of a difficult
marriage. Unlike times in the past, divorce has become the norm
rather than the exception. Nowadays it is often easier to get
out of the covenant of marriage than it is to get out of a contract
with a creditor or business partner. Personally, I believe that
there should be Biblical grounds for divorce, which would include
un-repented of adultery and other forms of immorality, physical
abuse, and other serious sins. The Bible never requires divorce,
even in difficult situations, but provides divorce as a concession.
People should not pursue divorce without serious consideration
and their eyes wide open to its devastating effects - on God,
the parties, children of the parties, and others. Divorce leaves
in its wake many casualties. The grass may appear to be greener
on the other side, but it is usually a lot browner than it is
on the marriage side. If you are contemplating divorce, it would
be wise to follow the steps below before making a decision:
- Seek Help and Wisdom from God.
God created us; He knows our needs; He is available to help
us in our time of need.
- Get Help from Others. God created
us as social beings who need others. From the time of conception
and birth and throughout our lives to the very end - we need
others. Wisdom is found in the counsel of many, and not in our
own heads, especially when we are facing overwhelming circumstances
where we do not see things clearly. Others who are not directly
involved oftentimes have a better perspective on the situation
and can give us better advice and wisdom than we give ourselves.
That being said, it is easy for us to choose as our counselors
"yes men" or people we know who will stand on our side rather
than giving objective assessment and advice. Try to get advice
from people who have successfully worked through difficult marriage
problems and stayed married.
- Assess the situation and diagnose the problems. What are the
problems? What is at the heart of the problems? How do I contribute
to the problems? Are there reasonable solutions to the problems?
- Consider and Discuss Alternatives
and Options. Many people run to divorce as the
first and only option. However, there are many other options
available to people with marital problems, including restorative
counseling and therapy, hard work.
- Be Patient.
We don't get into problems overnight, and we won't get out of
them overnight. Don't make any rash decisions.
Regardless of your faith, these principles have eternal wisdom.
Let the truth speak for itself.
Common Effects of Divorce:
- Parties to a divorce suffer financially.
They will experience a decline
in the standard of living they experienced while
they were married. They go from one household with related expenses
to two households with related expenses.
- Decreased life expectancies
- Emotional and physical health
- Suffer in relationships with
- Children suffer
as a result of divorced parents. One of my greatest fears growing
up was that my parents would ever get a divorce. Fortunately
they have had a strong marriage for over 50 years, and our family
is blessed as a result of the same.
- Divorce shatters the expectations
and hopes of children that their parents will
be together until death parts them.
- Because of weaker relationships with parents, many
children of divorce are more vulnerable to influences outside
of the family.
- Children from divorced households face
increased risks of:
(a) emotional and physical health problems;
(b) academic problems;
(c) criminal and legal problems;
(d) financial struggles as related to parents' financial struggles;
(e) drug and alcohol use and immoral sexual activity.
- Divorce affects children's views
of the world and relationships.
- Children from divorced family
situations often struggle when they begin to
form their own romantic relationships.
- Remarriage of one or more of
the parents can complicate the healing process
of the children related to their parents' divorce.
- Risks of divorce in remarriage
situations is even higher than in a first marriage.
- Modification of Orders already in place
Call us at 303-429-0419 to talk with an attorney
or schedule an appointment!