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Laurinda McDonnell brings attention, compassion, and care to every case. There is no charge for the first consultation and your case will never be handed off to an associate. Laurinda McDonnell has been practicing family law in the Denver area for over 30 years. Along with her paralegal of 12 years, her personal attention to every case makes her unique in today’s legal world. Through her more than 30 years of professional experience Laurinda has handled nearly every family law situation imaginable. From the simple to the complex, she has seen it all.
Divorce: Nobody goes into marriage anticipating a divorce. When divorce does occur you want to make sure that the attorney you retain is on the same page of the song book as you are. You and your divorce attorney should have open and frequent communication. You should be able to tell your divorce attorney anything and everything. I pride myself on returning all phone calls within 24 hours. I know that your divorce is first and foremost on your mind and that I will ensure that we will work together to obtain an equitable result.
Mediation: I have been a practicing attorney for thirty three years. I have limited my practice to Family Law and Mediation for the last twenty five years. I provide mediation at my office for the hourly rate of $200.00 per hour. Considering the amount of Family Law experience I have this is a very reasonable rate. I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to obtain the services of seasoned mediator without spending a fortune.
Adoption: I have handled hundreds of adoptions; step parent adoptions, private adoptions, and adoptions via placement by the Department of Human Services. Adoptions always bring a smile to my face and to this day I still receive Holiday Cards from families I have assisted.
Divorce of Civil Unions: This is a new area of Family Law. It was long time coming. Again, choosing a divorce attorney is the most first and foremost important decision that you must make. Choosing your representative to present your side of the story (attorney) is so important. Make sure you have confidence and a rapport with your attorney as he/she is your spokesperson.
Alimony/Spousal Support now known as Maintenance: Colorado’s Maintenance Statute and the Internal Revenue Service made significant changes to Maintenance. Maintenance is no longer a tax deduction to the person who is paying the money and is no longer income for the person receiving the money. Maintenance is still a discretionary award. Your attorney is responsible for presenting the facts to the court and make a convincing argument regarding your position on maintenance.
Child Custody/Parenting Time/Parental Responsibilities: Colorado rarely uses the word “custody”in regards to the parenting of children. The Court uses the term “parenting time”. The Court presumes that you and your spouse or significant other will be able to set aside your individual differences and be able to co-parent your child(ren). It is of the utmost importance that you and your significant other put your child or children first and foremost in the divorce process (or the allocation of parental responsibilities if you are not married). The children did not ask for the divorce, did not want their family split in two and do not have the maturity and ability to understand the process of a divorce. Children should be allowed to grieve the loss of their family unit before they are exposed to new significant others. Parents need to put the needs of their children first and foremost in their divorce.
Property Division: Colorado is an equitable division state. This does not mean that everything is added together and divided equally. What “equitable” means is that debts and assets are divided based upon the factual situation of each case. Therefore, talking to your neighbor or friends about what happened in their case is not indicative of what will occur in your case.
Legal Separation: In a Petition for Legal Separation you jump through the exact same hoops as you do for a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (or Divorce). The only difference is that at the end of the day when a Decree for Legal Separation is entered you are still married! Why do people do a Legal Separation versus a Divorce? Sometimes it is to keep a person on health insurance, sometimes it is for religious purposes. What needs to be known is that six months after a Decree of Legal Separation is entered either party, with written notice, can file a motion with the court converting the Legal Separation to a Divorce. So, the moral of this story is that you really need to think if a Legal Separation meets your needs or if it is best to go the Divorce route..
Prenuptial Agreements: These are drafted to protect assets owned by the marrying couple before the date of marriage. There are many different provisions regarding Prenuptial Agreements depending on the assets being protected. I have a questionnaire that will asset you as you embark on this path.
Former Client Reviews
I spoke with several attorneys about getting custody of my (step) son. Most hesitated, and few took the time to listen to our complete story. Laurinda didn't just listen, but she cared, and jumped in to action. She expertly maneuvered and led us through the legal process, never hesitating or settling because she clearly understood what our objectives were. Her knowledge of the law, and ability to think outside the box made all the difference for us. She delivered the perfect resolution to a situation other attorneys told me was insurmountable. Thanks to Laurinda, my son and I have a new start, and he has the security and stability he has been longing for. We are thankful!
Posted by Angela
I thought my ex-wife and I could go the “do it yourself” divorce way and save some money. What a mistake! Not only was I totally lost with the court forms, status meetings, evaluators, and the other things we had to go through, everything I suggested to the ex-wife was not good enough for her. Laurinda was referred to me by a friend at work who she helped with his divorce. When I met her she explained that she would try and find a common ground for my ex and me to agree on as far as parenting time, assets and child support. If that failed, the gloves would come off and we would go to court. Never had to fight it out with the ex. Laurinda brokered a fair deal for both of us. Her fees were reasonable and she saved me thousands of dollars over what the ex-wife wanted. Would recommend her highly.