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Efficient, Affordable, Convenient Family Law And Estate Planning Legal Services

Denver Family Law and Estate Planning Attorney Zachary S. Roeling of YouLaw Colorado

Zachary S. Roeling Esq.

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Practice Areas

  • Family Law
  • Collaborative Law – Collaborative Attorney and Collaborative Divorce Facilitator (CDF)
  • Estate Planning
  • Mediation
  • Unbundled & Consulting Services
  • Legal Coaching

Languages

  • French
  • English

Education

  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado
    • Juris Doctor (J.D.)
    • Honors: Family Law
    • Honors: Student Leadership (Co-President, DU OUTLaws, & Student Ambassador)
  • University of Colorado Boulder
    • B.A. – English Literature, French, & Music
    • Honors: Katherine Jacob Lamont Scholarship in the Humanities
    • Honors: Dean’s Scholarship & Dean’s List, all semesters

Honors

  • Awarded to 2.5% of Attorneys in Colorado on Peer Nomination & Voting, Colorado SuperLawyers Rising Star Award, seven consecutive years, 2018-2024

Presentations and Seminars Given

  • “Getting the Best from Your Bench: Tips for Attorneys and LLPs,” Judicial Panel, Family Law Institute, Plenary Session, Vail Colorado, August 2024 (forthcoming)
  • “Negotiation and Mediation,” License Legal Paraprofessionals (LLPs) Basic Skills Practicum, Colorado Bar Association, Denver, CO, June 2024 (forthcoming)
  • Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals (CCDP), Level 1 Training, Broomfield, CO, February 2024
  • “Managing a Diverse Client Caseload,” Family Law Basic Skills, Colorado Bar Association, Denver, CO, January 2024
  • “Third Party Rights in Family Law,” Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL) CLE, Denver Bar Association, September 2023
  • “Collaborative Law & Other Cooperative Paradigms – Expansive Solutions,” Family Law Lunch & Learn, Colorado Bar Association, September 2023
  • “Current Real Estate Issues,” Family Law Lunch & Learn, Colorado Bar Association, May 2023
  • “When Neutral Isn’t Enough – Strategies for Effective Mediation & Settlement,” Family Law Institute, Plenary Session, Vail, Colorado, August 2022
  • “Gender Expansive Children in Domestic Relations Matters: Redefining ‘Best Interests’,”, with Prof. Marie-Amélie George, Wake Forest University School of Law, Colorado Bar Association CLE, May 2022
  • “What a Tangled Web We Weave – Dissolution Remedies for Non-Marital & Part-Marital Relationships,” Family Law Institute, Breckenridge, CO, 2016
  • “Colorado Civil Unions Judicial Toolbox,” Colorado Judicial Institute, 2014

Biography

My name is Zac Roeling, and after over a decade in family law litigation, I saw firsthand the limitations and high costs of an outdated court system, conflict-oriented lawyers, and overworked judges. I now focus on guiding my clients to the finish line as discreetly and quickly as possible. I strategize and customize my approach to each case based on each client’s needs – mediation, collaborative law, cooperative or ‘collaborative-light’ cases, unbundled consulting services, drafting assistance, legal coaching, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and I offer private representation for select clients whose values align with mine. I offer services as both an attorney and a neutral mediator or collaborative divorce facilitator. If you are lost and feel that there is a better way to end a relationship – or start a new one – I am happy to help.

Most cases end up within a narrow range of outcomes, and people can choose the long or short path to get there. My clients often save tens of thousands of dollars for better results, less stress, and improved relationships with their ex and children, all with a personalized and efficient approach that traditional law firms and expensive mediation services simply cannot offer. My mission is to fill the gaps in a legal system still stuck in the past and do what I can to reform a system that consistently misses the forest for the trees.

My approach aims to keep costs down and avoids unnecessary fighting and billing. I do not condone the use of the legal system, aggressive lawyers, and resorting to judges to make difficult situations worse. I want all my clients to leave the legal process with their dignity, finances, and, if they have children or pets, their relationship with their co-parent intact . My background representing clients at high-end litigation firms, as a mediator, and as a collaborative attorney and neutral brings the right experience to assess and evaluate every case carefully, strategically, and with the utmost discretion. I want my clients to be well-informed and get to the finish line as soon as possible for the lowest possible cost, no matter their financial circumstances. If you find yourself in intractable litigation – or your gut tells you there is a better way – trust your instincts. I am happy to provide a second opinion regarding your situation.

I bring a solid track record of experience and effective, no-nonsense and compassionate problem-solving to the practice of family law throughout Colorado, whether your issues concern assets, support, or children. Often, my clients have largely settled their case and simply need to put pen to paper with careful drafting and advice, or need to be guided to the right professionals (tax, estate, investment, mortgage, real estate) to finish their matter and move on. Sometimes, they simply need to know what their options are and need a coach or guide to talk to when they need it. I love drafting complete and carefully worded agreements to keep clients out of court, now and in the future. I also act as a mediator for as many sessions as couples wish to help solve the pieces they cannot figure out on their own.

I began my legal career in 2011 as a mediator in the Mediation & Arbitration Clinic at the University of Denver, which led me to my calling assisting families in need. I was trained by and worked alongside Colorado’s top legal professionals for many years, handling cases from simple to complex, amicable to high-conflict – however, I especially enjoy mediating with couples motivated to settle without court involvement and assisting cost-conscious clients on a consulting basis or as a ‘unbundled services’ attorney. This allows clients to stay in control and seek legal advice or mediation services on their own terms. I am heavily involved in the Colorado Bar Association, local bars, and Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals (CCDP), serving in several elected roles, and I have a reputation built from the ground up.

I have extensive experience with complex assets and income issues, including businesses, trusts, real estate, executive compensation, as well as difficult custody, parenting time, and other child-related matters, including special-needs children and LGBTQ+ youth. I also negotiate and litigate common law marriage and estate claims. My duty is first and foremost not just to my clients but, if applicable, to their children and the mental health of all family members. Privacy and discretion are almost always what my clients ask, and I have customized my practice to meet their needs.

I am a skilled negotiator and understand the psychology of conflict and how to navigate what is often a cesspool of drama created by some attorneys and their clients in an outdated system that allows them to do so. I am involved in settlement-oriented professional organizations and maintain an extensive professional network of financial, mental health, real estate, valuation, and investment professionals to make sure each matter is handled with the right care as efficiently as possible, with an eye towards keeping costs down and moving matters forward.

I will bring to your case what you need from me and strive to reach a sensible settlement as soon as possible. I have no interest in prolonging resolution for my own financial gain, and I only accept clients who share my values.

I began YouLaw Colorado after growing disillusioned with the lack of innovation and adaptation from the legal industry in a rapidly changing world – economic uncertainty, domestic and geopolitical strife, a pandemic – you name it. I was consistently surprised by the number of clients who wanted a more efficient, affordable, congenial, collaborative approach, and who preferred mediation over most other options. I was just as surprised at the inability of traditional firms to have options and creative choices for clients to reach their goals with dignity. Popular perceptions of divorce and custody battles in our culture have only aggravated this disconnect. I want to provide you with what you really want and need – and it became apparent that I could only do so by founding a new kind of law firm – one focused not on a lawyer’s ego or a pyramid scheme of billable hours – but on YOU.

I litigate cases and have been recognized for my work in the courtroom. However, I also work extensively with couples seeking to avoid costly litigation prior to filing a case with the courts by using my knowledge of the law, the idiosyncrasies of family practice, and common mistakes to resolve private conflicts in mediation or as a consultant between separating spouses and partners before they file any papers with the court. I have studied and applied numerous conflict-resolution techniques in mediation with many couples over the years. I have learned that many former intimate partners want this kind of service instead of a traditional divorce or custody fight, but they haven’t been able to find it. YouLaw Colorado is the firm for them – and thus, I hope, for You.

I also fully represent and consult on an ‘unbundled’ basis for select private clients who meet my criteria of mindfulness, integrity, respect and who wish to protect their rights without resorting to damaging, litigious strategies. Some cases require an assertive but settlement-oriented attorney to facilitate their case to a conclusion, and occasionally, preventing further conflict requires direct and pointed intervention, which I can provide when circumstances warrant it. If needed, I excel in courtroom litigation and have been recognized with awards as a trial attorney – though I believe few couples are well-served by resorting to judges to make their decisions for them.

I listen to my clients carefully, conduct a thorough analysis of the facts, and distill legal concepts into simple, digestible language. I offer a holistic approach and have great success disarming opposing attorneys who do not share my philosophy. While many attorneys are well-meaning and believe they are trying to help, billable hour requirements, trends in legal business practices, and sophisticated arguments and use of the court system are all designed to serve lawyers and law firms – not their clients. Most of my clients understand this reality intuitively.

I also recognize that few family law issues are black and white and believe in fostering a calm, non-confrontational atmosphere whenever possible, working to optimize legal outcomes, both in mediation with couples and for my private representation clients, to support their family’s emotional wellbeing. I strive to empower them to consider the consequences of a given course of action on their and, if applicable, their children’s, emotional, relational and psychological health – not just their legal or financial bottom-line.

I have been recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Star for seven consecutive years in a row, an award reserved for only 2.5% of attorneys, for my courtroom and analytical ability as well as my style and calm demeanor in a field facing a crisis of professionalism, decency and integrity. I serve as the President of Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals, and I was also twice elected (in 2021 and 2023) by my peers to serve as Council Member-at-Large of the Executive Council of the Family Law Section at the Colorado Bar Association, the 20-member governing body for hundreds of domestic relations practitioners statewide.

I also have experience in drafting estate documents like wills & pre- and post-nuptial agreements and know what makes them more likely than not to be enforceable. I understand well the myriad roles these documents play in divorce. I maintain relationships with my professional colleagues in the Trust & Estates Section of the Colorado Bar Association, and have experience not just in drafting wills, trusts, and other estate documents, but also in litigating probate cases, elective share claims and common-law marriage issues in the estate context. I also have experience in the administration of decedents’ estates.

I am a Colorado native, born and raised in Ft. Collins, and have also lived in Denver, Boulder, Windsor, and Longmont, and have visited most counties in our beautiful state. I am currently based in Denver, but I have clients throughout the Front Range as well as our mountain and rural communities.

I am classically trained pianist and studied under the head of the Piano Department at CU-Boulder in high school. Before becoming a lawyer, I taught English to secondary school students just west of Paris and work remotely from France on occasion. I speak French fluently, and when I’m not at work for my clients, you can find me at a park, in the mountains, or on my couch reading contemporary novel, listening to a podcast, browsing a magazine, or watching an old movie with my partner, Justin, and our puppy, Zelda.

I love nothing more than getting my clients to a better place in an informed, efficient, and dignified way – YouLaw is about you, your future, and your children’s best interests. If you feel at home with my firm’s values, I am more than happy to help you and your family.

Please book a consultation online through my calendar using Clio if you wish to discuss your situation and see if we are a good fit.

Professional Associations

  • Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals (CCDP), President, 2024 – 2025
  • Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals, Executive Vice President, 2023
  • Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals, Secretary, 2022
  • Family Law Section Executive Council, Colorado Bar Association, 20-member governing body of hundreds of Family Law Attorneys in Colorado, Elected Member-at-Large, Two Terms (2021 – 2023), (2023 – 2025)
  • Family Law Section Executive Council, Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity (DEI) Committee, Co-Chair, 2023 – 2025
  • Family Law Section Executive Council, Nominating Committee, 2023 & 2024
  • Family Law Section Executive Council, Membership Committee, 2021 to 2025
  • Family Law Section Executive Council, Family Law Institute (FLI) Planning Committee, Family Law Institute 2022
  • Metro Volunteer Lawyers (MVL), Elected Representative of the Denver Bar Association, Advisory Board Member, 2020 to 2024
  • Colorado Bar Association, Member
  • Family Law Section, Colorado Bar, Member
  • Trusts & Estates Section, Colorado Bar, Member
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section, Colorado Bar, Member
  • Denver Bar Association, Member
  • Boulder County Bar Association, Member
  • Adams-Broomfield Bar Association, Member
  • Arapahoe County Bar Association, Member
  • Jefferson County Bar Association, Member
  • Larimer County Bar Association, Member
  • Douglas County Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Colorado LGBT Bar Association, Member
  • National LGBT Bar Association, Membe

Past Positions

  • Senior Mediator & Attorney, Conscious Family Law & Mediation, LLC
  • Senior Associate Attorney, Wells Family Law, P.C.
  • Associate Attorney, Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C. (second chair to Cynthia Ciancio)
  • Associate Attorney, Willoughby & Associates, LLC (second chair to Kim Willoughby)
  • Summer Intern & Law Clerk, Willoughby & Associates
  • Student Mediator, Mediation & Arbitration Clinic, DU Law Student Law Office
  • Summer Intern & Intake Specialist, Family Law, Colorado Legal Services

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