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Use the law only as a baseline in child support

In family court, it’s important to remember that the law is really just a baseline. It provides a starting point for negotiations between two parties, such as those divorcing or trying to determine property division, visitation, child support or spousal maintenance. The laws vary from state to state, so what applies in another state may not be the same in Colorado.

Because the laws regarding family law change over time, they are arbitrary. Couples are fighting about the same things – their legal rights and obligations. Do they really want what it is they are fighting for or are they only fighting because the law says it is their legal right or obligation?

One should consider not fighting over things they really don’t want or need, but are told do so because of the law. They want what is fair and because of the law, they have even been told exactly what that is. What is fair is really just a matter of perspective. When the perspective of fairness is not imposed, the outcome can be dramatically different from what two people might decide when it comes to property division, child support and alimony.

By using mediation and other family-based services and approaches, the divorcing couple may be able to reach an agreement that is beneficial to all parties involved. This means not concentrating on the fairness of the divorce, but what is important to each party. It could mean the divorce looks very one-sided to an outsider, but yet, both parties are very pleased with the results.

If you are considering a divorce, contact an experienced Colorado divorce attorney. You have rights and obligations, but your attorney can explain those in detail. Your attorney can arrange for mediation, if you wish, for such matters as child custody, child support, spousal maintenance and property division.

Source:, “The Law Is a Baseline and Nothing More” Mark Baer, Jun. 10, 2013


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