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Denver Family Law Attorney

Denver Family Law Attorney

At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., our Denver family law attorneys offer expertise in all facets of family law and domestic relations, including divorce, custody and parenting time, child support, paternity, and civil protection orders. Our team of family law attorneys and staff have been handpicked by Cynthia L. Ciancio, one of Colorado’s most successful and influential family law attorneys.

Family law and domestic matters are among the most complex and sensitive legal issues any person or family can face. There is much at stake, including the emotional, financial and even physical well-being of those involved. In order to arrive at a successful conclusion, it is important to have a family law firm on your side that you trust to pursue your interests.


Why Choose Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. as Your Denver Family Law Firm?

With so many law firms to choose from, choosing a law firm to handle your family law case is not an easy decision. But, here are some reasons why you should choose Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C.

  • Our senior attorneys have an average of 20 years of legal experience and more than 100 years of combined experience.
  • Founding attorney Cynthia Ciancio has been practicing law for over 25 years. We will know what your family law case needs to succeed.
  • Our track record speaks for itself. We’re proud to have hundreds of satisfied clients and positive case results proving our legal capabilities. Our team of Denver family lawyers has earned the esteem of our peers, legal organizations, and the community as a whole in Denver.

We offer direct and personal representation. Your Denver family attorney will always be honest and upfront about your family law case, getting to the point to save you time and money. We will get to know you on a personal level and communicate with you often about your case.

Cynthia Ciancio Is Here To Help You In Your Family Law Case

Founding shareholder, partner and lead attorney Cynthia Ciancio is here to help you lead the charge in your family law case. She is an advocate for her clients and community, giving 100% to every case she handles.

Cynthia has over twenty years of experience specifically in family law, handling everything from divorce to child custody disputes. She has extensive experience in the courtroom, appearing in all of the Denver Metro Courts and multiple counties surrounding the area.

In addition, Cynthia has been the recipient of multiple awards including:

  • 2023 Best Lawyers – Family Law
  • Top 50 Colorado Female Lawyers, 2012-2021
  • Colorado Super Lawyers 2011 – 2021
  • 2023 AV Preeminent Rating – Judicial Edition by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Denver Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business Award Nomination

Here’s What Our Clients Are Saying

“I was recommended to them by a family friend and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!”

There are not enough stars for me to rate my experiences with Ciancio Ciancio Brown! They are not only amazing attorneys but also amazing good hearted people. That is not something you can say about most attorneys offices but they actually care. I highly recommend them!!! I was recommended to them by a family friend and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

– Amber Davis

“Cyndy Ciancio achieved our goals”

I cannot recommend Cyndy highly enough. She is continually recognized by her peers as one of the top lawyers in the state and such honors are clearly merited. I owe Cyndy a tremendous debt of gratitude.

– Family Law Client

“Cyndy Ciancio: Impeccable Attorney”

If you have a difficult case, and most family law cases involving children are difficult, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether your attorney is representing you in the best possible manner and looking out for what is best for your whole family. For this reason, I would definitely consult Cyndy Ciancio in any future family law issue.

– Family Law Client

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Schedule A Consultation With One Of Our Family Law Attorneys Today

For family law matters, every case requires personalized attention, so get in touch with an experienced attorney from Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. today. We have an office in Downtown Denver, so call us at (303) 451-0300 or fill out the contact form below to schedule an in-person or online consultation today.

Table of Contents

Do I Need a Family Lawyer?

In every family, legal matters arise from time to time. Family relationships are both emotionally and legally complex, especially in today’s world of diverse family structures. You may need a family lawyer to navigate any of the following sensitive legal matters involving close family relationships:

  • Divorce
  • Division of marital assets
  • Prenuptial/Postnuptial agreements
  • Separation agreements
  • Civil unions
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Modification of existing orders for child custody/child support/spousal support
  • Adoption
  • Parental rights
  • Relocation

The best family lawyers in Denver handle weighty legal matters that impact a family’s life going forward with sensitivity and a resolution-oriented approach for their clients.We offer unbundled services for our family clients who wish to handle the majority of their cases on their own but still want to receive some guidance from a lawyer. Rather than working on a retainer, our lawyer would provide services by the hour for clients seeking help with a particular issue or legal process.

If you need to set legal parameters for any of your family relationships, such as navigating the legalities of child adoption or meditating with a spouse to fairly distribute marital assets during a divorce, Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. understands the importance of defending our client’s rights and providing legal counsel and representation toward achieving the outcome they desire in all family court matters.

What Types of Cases are Heard in Colorado Family Law Court?

When people think about family law, different topics may come to mind.  In Colorado, there is not necessarily a dedicated “Family Court.” Family law matters are generally heard in District Court or Juvenile Court, depending on the issues presented. Common types of family law matters include, but are not limited to:

  • Divorce and all related matters, such as spousal support, property division, divorce mediation and high-asset divorce, just to name a few
  • Child custody and parental rights, including issues related to parenting time/visitation and decision-making responsibilities
  • Child relocation, including instances in which one parent wishes to move out of state with a child
  • Child support matters, regardless of whether the parents are unwed or going through a divorce
  • Modification of court orders and agreements, including custody arrangements and support orders
  • Family law mediation and arbitration, which are forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that can help reduce costs and minimize emotional trauma
  • Legal separation, which is an alternative to divorce in which couples remain legally married but live separately and have defined divisions in their finances and parental affairs
  • Family law disputes involving the rights of the father or, alternatively, the rights of the mother
  • Guardianships
  • Adoptions

You might be thinking – does Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. handle these types of cases that are listed above? The answer is yes.

Our family law lawyers in Denver have years of experience handling all of these types of family law cases, among others. We can overcome any challenge that you or your family may face during your legal proceedings of your family matters. We offer personalized legal services that are tailored to each client’s unique needs and goals.

Denver Family Law Attorney

What Happens During a Denver Divorce Case?

Divorce is one of the most common types of family law cases heard in Denver. With the right lawyer by your side, a divorce or legal separation doesn’t have to be as difficult or stressful as you might imagine. Your Denver divorce attorney can guide you through the steps of the divorce process while protecting your rights and interests. Here are the basic steps of a divorce in Colorado:

1. You or Your Spouse Files for Divorce

You will need to file three documents with the family courthouse in your county: the petition for divorce, the summons, and the case information sheet. Complete these documents with or without assistance from a Denver family law attorney and pay the filing fee to file them with the court.

2. The Respondent is Served with a Summons

The spouse that files for divorce becomes the petitioner and the other spouse is the respondent. Neither has an advantage over the other – being the one that files for divorce doesn’t come with any benefits. Upon filing the paperwork, you or a hired professional will serve your spouse with a summons, to which your spouse has 21 days to respond in writing.

3. The Discovery Phase

You and your spouse will have the chance to “discover” everything about each party’s earnings, marital assets, property, and debts. You will do this by filling out and submitting sworn financial statements and disclosure forms. It is a crime to lie or knowingly omit information on these documents.

4. Divorce Settlement Negotiations

All couples in Colorado have the chance to create their own divorce decrees and decide the terms of their divorces before the family law matter has to go to a judge. If the couple can communicate with each other and compromise, they will have an uncontested divorce, where a judge signs off on the couple’s arrangements. If not, it is a contested divorce that has to go to court.

A divorce trial, in some cases. If a divorce case goes to trial, Colorado’s equitable distribution law means that a judge will split marital property and debts in a manner that is fair for both parties, but not necessarily equal. Child custody will be decided based on the best interests of the child. Other family law matters, such as child support and alimony payments, will be decided based on the case.

Every divorce case is unique. The best way to learn what to expect from your particular divorce case is by speaking to a family law attorney in Denver. Our lawyers at Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will tailor our legal services to your exact needs. We provide child-focused divorce services that are designed to reduce the emotional toll of divorce and always put the best interest of your kids first. Our family law firm in Denver can handle high-asset divorce cases, high-profile divorces, collaborative divorces, military divorces and other complicated cases.

What Are Mediation and Arbitration In Family Law?

Mediation and arbitration are common in family law. These types of alternative dispute resolutions help those involved in familial disputes avoid the costs and stress of trial.

  • Mediation is a form of negotiation, where an unbiased third party (the mediator) helps the other parties communicate and resolve the issue.
  • Arbitration is a form of adjudication (formal judgment), where the arbitrator can control the outcome.

Both types of ADR are less formal than a trial, but mediation is the least formal option.

Benefits of Mediation and Arbitration

Mediation and arbitration are used in many types of cases, including divorce, legal separation and guardianship. ADR has many benefits, such as:

  • Privacy, rather than a court trial that is open to the public.
  • More control over the outcome of the case instead of leaving it up to a judge.
  • As much time as is needed to discuss the matter and come to a decision.
  • No requirement to come to a decision at all, if a compromise is not possible.
  • Less time-consuming than a full-blown trial.
  • Less money for both parties in legal fees and court costs.

Only if both parties agree on binding arbitration ahead of time will this type of ADR result in an arbitrator making a binding judgment regarding a family law matter. Having an experienced family lawyer in Denver representing you during mediation and/or arbitration can increase the odds of getting the outcome you want and avoiding a full court trial. Your Denver family lawyer can guide you through these processes and answer your legal questions along the way.

What Are Some Common Child Custody Schedules In Colorado?

Colorado courts uphold the standard of making all decisions in the best interests of the child. With the presumption that continued close contact with both parents is the ideal, the state offers many solutions to sharing parenting time. In most family law cases, attorneys in Colorado are well-versed and experienced in helping parents achieve a workable parenting-time schedule or in presenting a compelling case to the judge to show why a client’s request for a different custody arrangement is in their child’s best interests.

Divorcing parents in Colorado may develop their own schedule based on their family’s unique needs, or they may choose from any of the common schedules below:

Equal Parenting Time Schedules

Judges prefer to award equal parenting time to both parents unless one or both parents can demonstrate why this isn’t in their child’s best interests. Colorado has a number of schedules for equally sharing parenting time including the following:

  • The 2-2-5-5 rotating schedule with each parent having Two-day overnights with the child followed by a five-night stay with the first parent and then a five-night stay with the second.
  • For infants and young children, a shared schedule with more frequent exchanges helps to prevent too-long separations from each parent. The 2-2-3 schedule requires a two-day stay with each parent, followed by a three-day stay with the first parent. This schedule rotates so that the second parent has the child for the three-day stay the following week.
  • The 3-4-4-3 schedule is another schedule with frequent exchanges and fewer days of separation for each parent. This schedule works well for toddlers and preschool-aged children.
  • The alternating weeks schedule is a preferred schedule for older children and teenagers for parents with equal custody time.

Unequal Parenting Time Schedules

There are a variety of reasons that parents may choose unequal parenting time schedules, including to accommodate work schedules, or due to one parent’s fitness for caring for children, or a parent or child’s physical limitations. Common unequal parenting time schedules include the following:

  • Parents with infants sometimes choose a schedule that has three daytime-only visits with a non-custodial parent per week. This works well for breastfed infants.
  • Some parents have an 80/20 or 70/20 split with a non-custodial parent having parenting time every other weekend, or every other weekend plus a midweek afternoon through evening visit.
  • A repeating 4-3 schedule

Parents may see their family law attorney in Denver to seek a modification of their existing child custody order as children grow and their needs change, or when a parent relocates or has a significant change in circumstances, employment, or health.

Child support in Colorado is partly based on the amount of parenting time each parent has with the children. The parent with less time pays child support to the parent with a greater number of overnight visits. For parents with 50/50 shared custody, the higher-earning parent pays child support to the lower-earning parent.

Denver Family Law Lawyer

Contact Us to Speak with a Denver Family Law Lawyer Today

Litigation is a journey. This is a journey we have taken with our clients a countless number of times. If you face the uncertainty, risk, fear, anger or disbelief that comes with the prospect of going through a legal dispute, the divorce law firm of Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. will help you through it. With a broad spectrum of legal services available – not only in family law, but in business law, personal injury and criminal defense, as well – we are your family lawyers for life.

The skill and knowledge of your Denver family law attorney can make a critical difference to the outcome of your family law case. Your attorney will understand the law and how to navigate it to your greatest advantage, as well as how to address the personal side of your matter. You can focus on yourself, your family, and your future while an experienced lawyer handles the rest.

For all of your family law needs, our Denver family law firm offers the level of service and expertise you are seeking. Call or contact us online to schedule a case evaluation. With offices in Denver, Westminster, and Breckenridge, we assist families in the greater Denver and Colorado area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Family law attorneys in Colorado often encounter common questions from clients about divorce law and other family law matters in Colorado including the following:

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Family Lawyer?

The final cost of your Denver family lawyers in any sort of case depends on the complexities of your situation. If you and your former spouse are able to agree on terms and come to an agreement quickly, your attorney fees will reflect that. However, since most family lawyers charge $150-$250 or more per hour, the longer it takes to come to a signed agreement and higher the contention, the higher the final cost.

If your family law case is uncontested and you reach an equitable agreement on all issues swiftly, you can keep costs down. A hotly contested or contentious family law case will cause fees to escalate. Most attorneys at Ciancio Ciancio Brown P.C., require a retainer fee paid upfront after an initial consultation. After finalizing the divorce, the retainer amount is applied toward the total amount owed. However, if your unique family law case doesn’t require as much time and resources, you will likely not be charged a retainer fee.

How Are Marital Assets Divided in Colorado?

Colorado is an “equitable division of marital assets” divorce state. This means divorcing spouses can retain any separate assets which include any assets that were theirs before the marriage, were inherited by them during the marriage, or were gifted to them alone during the marriage. Any assets accumulated during the marriage must be distributed fairly—if not exactly equally—between the spouses, either through a settlement agreement made between them or by a judge’s decision in a divorce hearing.

Do We Have to Be Separated For a Specific Time Before a Divorce?

Colorado does not require spouses to separate before a divorce. In fact, some spouses remain living together throughout the divorce process.

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced in Colorado?

Colorado has a 91-day waiting period for divorce after filing the initial petition, so even the fastest, uncontested divorce takes at least that long. The length of the divorce process varies widely depending on whether or not divorcing spouses can form a settlement agreement on their own or through mediation, or whether they argue their disputed matters in court in a contested divorce. For divorcing spouses with substantial or complex assets, the process of discovery and asset distribution takes longer than for those with few assets.

Does Adultery Affect a Divorce?

Colorado is a no-fault divorce state, so couples only need to file on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. Whether or not one spouse committed adultery does not impact divorce; however, when a spouse has a serious relationship outside of the marriage, it could impact a child custody agreement. Also, if a spouse has spent significant marital assets on another relationship, the judge could award a larger amount of marital assets to the other spouse in response.

Do Colorado Courts Prefer Mothers in Child Custody Decisions?

Colorado courts do not have preferences over mothers or fathers in child custody disputes. Instead, they make all decisions in a child’s best interests. The court begins with the presumption that continued close, meaningful contact with both parents is in a child’s best interests, but this is a rebuttable presumption, meaning a parent must show the court why the custody arrangement they want for their children is in their child’s best interests.

What is the Process for Divorce in Colorado?

Divorcing spouses in Colorado must have been a resident of the state for at least 91 days before filing. Then, typically one spouse files for divorce, becoming the petitioner in the process. The other spouse is the respondent and must respond to the petition within 21 days. Alternatively, both spouses may file together as petitioners in the divorce.

During the following 91-day waiting period, spouses and their attorneys will engage in a discovery process to exchange full financial disclosures and request documents. They may also work together with their attorneys and mediators to form a settlement agreement on all aspects of their divorce, including the distribution of their marital assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support (alimony). If unable to resolve their disputes, they must attend the final hearing and state their cases before a judge. The judge makes final decisions and issues binding orders in the final decree signed by both spouses to finalize the divorce.