Frequently Asked Questions

Epstein Patierno, LLP – Attorneys at Law
Top Family Law Attorneys in Denver, CO

What Issues are involved in a “family law” case?

Family Law Practice, Epstein Patierno, LLP handles cases that fall under the “Family Court Division” in Denver, CO.  These include issues relating to the following categories as examples:

  • Whether a marriage is valid
  • Jurisdiction (i.e. the court’s power) over a person or issue relating to divorce or paternity
  • Prevention of domestic violence
  • Attorney fees in divorce or other similar actions
  • Divorce and legal separation
  • Annulments
  • Paternity (i.e. establishing parentage through the courts)
  • Adoption
  • Child support
  • Custody and visitation of a child
  • Alimony and spousal support
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Rights and obligations during marriage
  • Domestic partnerships; and
  • Division of property
How do I find the best family law or divorce attorney in Denver?
There are hundreds of attorneys that practice family law in Denver. Most of these practitioners are relatively decent people that have a decent knowledge of the law. However, some attorneys are not effective, not reliable, do not communicate with their client’s the way they should, are not the strongest litigators. There are also those attorneys that are the “top-rated family lawyers” in Denver divorce circles. Our partners have been named in the elite group of “Super Lawyers” for family law in Denver. Our associate attorneys and paralegals are the most attentive and hard-working with decades of experience and knowledge about how to be successful in divorce, legal separation, domestic violence and other family law cases. We also tell potential clients to go out and interview several family law attorneys and go with the attorney that you feel best about. Most often, after interviewing multiple attorneys, you will select Epstein Patierno for your divorce or family law needs.
How long does it take to get a divorce?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce in Denver, Colorado is almost exclusively dependent on how well both sided cooperate and work together to reach an agreement. Cases can take much longer when parties do not cooperate and cannot agree on settlement terms. We do our best to work with our clients to achieve their goals as quickly as possible.
How long does a domestic violence case take?
Domestic violence cases typically resolve more quickly than divorce cases. Domestic violence, or DV cases, begin with the filing of a “temporary restraining order” or TRO. Once the TRO is filed, a hearing on the issue of whether the “temporary” restraining order should become “permanent” is set within 21 days. Typically DV proceedings are given priority over other family law matters except child custody on the court’s calendar.
How long does a paternity case take in Denver?
Paternity cases (which means establishing, through the court, the legal parent(s) of a child) usually take less time than divorce cases to complete also. This is because usually, paternity litigants simply adopt “temporary” child custody and support orders as a judgment in order to finish their case. However, each party is entitled to a trial on all issues in a paternity case, so there is a chance it could be delayed if no agreement is reached.
How do I file for child custody?
Child custody orders are usually made under the general scope of a divorce, legal separation, annulment, domestic violence or paternity case. It is necessary to file some underlying action to establish parentage or for divorce, for example, before the court will make custody orders. If you are married to the other parent then a divorce is usually filed. If you are not married to the other parent, then a paternity case is usually filed. Once the “underlying” case is filed, either party may file a motion for child custody and visitation orders. These motions are called “Request for Orders”. Notably, a child’s father must have a copy of the “POP” declaration (paternity declaration signed at the hospital) or be listed on the child’s birth certificate before he has the right to seek custody orders.
Am I entitled to alimony in my Denver divorce case?
It depends. There are two types of alimony, or spousal support. The first is “temporary” spousal support and the other is “permanent” spousal support. Temporary spousal support is ordered by the court upon request of either party and is based on the supported party’s needs and the other party’s ability to pay. A computer program called Dissomaster will provide the family law judge with the “presumed” number that should be paid depending on the parties’ respective incomes, tax filing status, and so forth.
What is a Contested Divorce?
A contested matter is any matter that involves the submission of any issue to the Family Court for resolution. The Family Court has jurisdiction over issues involving divorce, paternity, domestic violence, child custody and visitation, child support, healthcare and childcare issues, spousal support or alimony, division of assets and debts, and any other issue contemplated in the Colorado Family Code. Issues involving temporary order requests are often submitted to the Family Court for resolution in divorce cases in the form of an “Order to Show Cause” or “Notice of Motion”. For issues requiring permanent orders, issues are submitted to the Family Court at the time of trial.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
An uncontested matter is any matter that is resolved by an agreement, or stipulation, between the parties outside of court. Most agreements between parties must be filed and approved by a judge or commissioner of the Family Court. There are many legal requirements that must be met at the time an agreement is submitted to the Family Court for approval.
What is the Difference Between a Divorce and a Paternity Case?
There are only a limited number of ways that cases fall under the jurisdiction of the Family Court. Most notably, these cases involve divorce or dissolution, paternity, and domestic violence. There are several differences between a divorce case and a paternity case. First, a divorce case may or may not involve children. Paternity cases always involve children. Second, parties to a paternity case share a child together, but they are not married. Third, the issues involved in divorce cases usually vastly differ from issues involved in paternity cases, although they share overlapping issues like child custody, visitation, and child support. Divorce cases usually involve division of assets and debts, spousal support, and other issues that are not contemplated in a paternity case.
My Case Involves Complicated Issues. How can My Attorney Help?
Many family law matters involve complex litigation, including high-value asset division, resolution of complicated real property issues, taxation issues, third party joinder issues, concealment of assets, child psychology issues, separate property management, interstate issues, and so on. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with these complicated issues and excel in creatively and effectively resolving tough problems.
What is the Difference Between “Legal” and “Physical” Child Custody?
Legal custody is the right to make decisions about a minor child’s health, safety, education, religion, welfare, etc. Physical custody is the actual time a parent spends exercising custody and control over a minor child. Absent unusual circumstances, both parents usually enjoy the right to exercise “joint legal custody” over their minor child or children. If parents enjoy a “joint physical custody” arrangement it means that each parent has approximately fifty percent exercise of parental custody and control over their minor child.
Why Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?
Colorado Family Law is an extremely complicated field of law that could have dramatic effects on you and your family. Our educated, sincere and professional attorneys will guide you through the most difficult of legal and emotional issues.
When Do I Need a Family Law Attorney?
It is essential to have an experienced and trustworthy family law attorney working hard for you right away under most circumstances. There are a variety of options available to you which should be explored immediately, not all of which will be available upon delay.
What are the Advantages of Retaining a Family Law Attorney?
Property settlements and litigation can be very complicated. Our attorneys will help you protect your community and separate property interests. Child custody, visitation and support disputes can likewise be very complicated. Our attorneys will counsel you in these most important of issues. Experienced attorneys will ease your stress by taking responsibility during all facets of your case.
How much does it Cost to Retain an Attorney?
Our attorneys will diligently work and creatively explore avenues to settle your case without litigation. In the event litigation is unavoidable, our attorney fees are affordable and reasonable. In many cases, attorney fees may be paid by the other party. You will realize that the benefit of hiring our attorneys far outweighs the cost.
How Will I be Involved in My Case?
Our attorneys will creatively explore many different options to help settle your case or succeed in litigation. We will take you step by step through each process, ensuring that you are apprised of your options. Our experience in this field is the vehicle to your success, but you will remain the driver.

Contact us for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.