Greenwood Village divorce attorney Michael Mantia’s first order of business in the divorce process is reconciliation.
“If I can assist the parties in rekindling their relationship it makes me feel as though I have done what’s best, especially when children are involved,” Mr. Mantia said.
If, however, either party persists that a divorce is the only viable option, then that party is entitled to their request pursuant to Colorado law and the case will move forward. This doesn’t mean that the parties cannot reconcile and dismiss the action later in time. It just means that only one party is required to make the claim that the marriage is irretrievably broken and entitled to dissolution.
Nevertheless, Mr. Mantia stresses reconciliation of the parties until it is clear and obvious that it’s no longer an option.
Now, if both parties seek dissolution of the marriage, and reconciliation is not an option, then it is essential that you focus on trial preparation (whenever that may be). Preparing a case for trial is not difficult – the difficulty is balancing proper preparation versus cost.
“A majority of the clients I meet with initially claim that their divorce will be amicable and terms easily met,” Mr. Mantia said. “This can be true of some. The main reason it will not be true of all is because the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (UDMA) requires the parties to address issues that most individuals simply aren’t aware of.”
Once these issues have been identified it tends to cause tension between the parties. This tension commonly leads to impasse.
“And, as we all know, impasse leads to trial,” Mr. Mantia said. “While the expense necessary to be properly prepared for trial can be large you must be prepared for trial if settlement negotiations fail. Not only is preparation necessary for the hearing and your judge, but it is also the best way to leverage a favorable settlement of the case.”
While Mr. Mantia has over a decade of experience in all areas of divorce and custody, he finds himself enjoying and excelling at complicated financial matters.
“I say that because the child-related issues really should be settled amongst the parties,” he said. “In my opinion, no judge can know the children better than their parents. Large-scale financial arguments are more appropriate for judicial determination. These are the issues that require distinct preparation. On average, the two largest assets in any divorce are the marital home and retirement plan(s). This is where you need to focus your efforts. Moreover, your argument for these items needs customized to the facts and circumstances of each case, and each case requires careful planning for the client’s future.”