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Paula J. Smith

Paula Smith assists her clients in defining their goals and identifying the most effective path to resolution. She is an experienced negotiator and mediator who does not hesitate to litigate matters that defy alternate dispute resolution.

She is experienced in successfully resolving complex and unique issues in family law and divorce such as property division, maintenance, and common-law marriage. In child focused matters, Paula brings her clients a wealth of experience in child support, paternity, parenting time, and interstate support and parenting issues. She has represented clients whose children have special needs and she is skilled in developing creative solutions for difficult situations. She has successfully litigated relocation matters, parental abductions, and adoptions. She handles cases from the preparation of initial filings through post-decree issues such as review and appeals, judgments and enforcement remedies and modifications.

Paula understands the need to advise and guide her clients through the legal process. She is a trained and experienced mediator and is also trained in collaborative divorce. She has represented clients from all walks of life. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and is an avid epee and sabre fencer.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully obtained court orders for the custody and return of children to Colorado after they had been abducted by the other parent.
  • Successfully resolved division of executive compensation and real estate interests in complex divorces.
  • Successfully negotiated financial settlements that provide for special needs individuals.
  • Obtained a termination of parental rights in a unique contested termination and step-adoption matter.
  • Served as co-counsel in financially complex and disputed parenting cases to bring the matters to trial.


  • The Best Lawyers in America, Family Law
  • Martindale Hubbell, BV rated


  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Denver, Colorado
    • J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1987
  • Scripps College, Claremont, California
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 1974
    • Major: European Studies
  • Virginia Institute of Technology, Blacksburg, Virginia
    • M.B.A. – 1979

Professional Associations

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Arapahoe County Bar Association
  • Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Metropolitan Denver Interdisciplinary Committee
  • Colorado Judicial Institute
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
  • Board Member, AllHealth Network, 2015 – 2020
  • Chairman, Colorado Division, United States Fencing Association, 2006 – 2008
  • Board Member, Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra, 1997 – 2000

Pro-Bono Activities

  • CWBA Public Policy Committee: 2012 – present
  • CBA Legal Assistants Committee Co-chair: 1992-1993
  • CJI Subcommittee on Parenting Time Standards, 2008
  • Arapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network: Board Member, 2014
  • Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra: Vice President, Board of Directors, 1999-2000; Member at Large, Board of Directors, 1997-1999
  • U.S. Fencing Association, Colorado Division, Chairman: 2006-2008
  • North American Indian Legal Services, Inc.: Leadership Advisory Team Member, 1998

Published Works

  • Child Support Enforcement Remedies Available Through Child Support Enforcement Agencies
  • Establishing and Enforcing Child: Support Orders

Classes & Seminars

  • Annual Family Law Updates
  • Paralegal Ethics: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
  • Uniform Interstate Family Support Act of Colorado
  • Child Support and Child Support Enforcement
  • Uniform Interstate Family Support Act

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. District Court
  • Colorado, 1987

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certificate in Mediation: CDR Associates, 2004
  • Parenting Coordinator/Decision-Maker Training, 2013

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