Who We Are | Divorce at Altitude – Ep. 1

Divorce at Altitude Podcast

In episode one of Divorce at Altitude, Ryan shares the story of Eric Wolff and his divorce experience that resonates with many individuals going through or thinking about divorce. 

Amy shares her journey of becoming a divorce lawyer and how her experience working in a juvenile center and clerking for a family law judge helped foster her passion for family law and resolving problems for families in a creative way.  

Ryan tells how he found his passion of helping clients redefine themselves through monumental transitions in life after his college baseball career came to an end. 

Stay tuned for the next episode of Divorce at Altitude, where Ryan and Amy will discuss pre-martial agreements and how you can create them and enforce, or not enforce them, leaving a marriage.  

What is Divorce at Altitude? 

Ryan Kalamaya and Amy Goscha provide tips and recommendations on issues related to divorce, separation, and co-parenting in Colorado.  

To subscribe to Divorce at Altitude, click here and select your favorite podcast player. To subscribe to Kalamaya | Goscha’s YouTube channel where many of the episodes will be posted as videos, click here

Episode 1 – Who We Are

Ryan Kalamaya:
Hey everyone. I’m Ryan Kalamaya.

Amy Goscha:
And I am Amy Goscha.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Welcome to Divorce at Altitude, a podcast on Colorado family law.

Amy Goscha:
Divorce is not easy. It really sucks. Trust me, I know. Besides being an experienced divorce attorney, I’m also a divorce client.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Whether you are someone considering divorce or a fellow family law attorney, listen in for weekly tips and insight into topics related to divorce, co-parenting, and separation in Colorado.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Hey, Amy.

Amy Goscha:
Hi, Ryan.

Ryan Kalamaya:
What’s new?

Amy Goscha:
Just recording our first episode of Divorce at Altitude.

Ryan Kalamaya:
How do you think it’s going?

Amy Goscha:
I mean, we’re here, right?

Ryan Kalamaya:
Why don’t you tell everyone about our podcast and what we’re doing here?

Amy Goscha:
First, let me explain the name. We’re both divorce lawyers in Colorado. You’re up in Aspen and I’m down in Denver. We wanted to share our thoughts, tips, and experience for those that may be thinking about getting a divorce, dealing with co-parenting, or are already separated. Each week, we’ll be focusing on a particular topic related to divorce and child custody. We will be hosting weekly episodes and we’ll feature experts throughout as well. We wanted to create a podcast for other family lawyers and individuals going through divorce or thinking about divorce.

Amy Goscha:
As trial lawyers, we tell stories. Ryan, why don’t you tell us a story that might resonate with someone listening to our podcast?

Ryan Kalamaya:
Sure, Amy. Let’s talk about Eric Wolf. Eric Wolf opens the door to his car, climbs inside, and tosses his iPhone on the passenger seat. A Starbucks cup is still sitting in the cup holder alongside a crumpled receipt. His wife, Melanie, had left them there when she borrowed his car. The sight of them makes him angry again. They’d had a fight, she seemed indifferent to the cost of the deductible and the inconvenience of using his car until hers was fixed. He had a business to run. The receipt is from one of Melanie’s shopping escapades, and he wonders to himself, “How can a purse cost the same as a pair of skis?”

Ryan Kalamaya:
Sure, he spends money, but he also works his ass off to pay for everything. He’s always been a hard worker. But now, his business is his sanctuary. His kids are in bed when he gets home. Melanie heads to bed with a book and he stays up and watches the news. Sometimes he sleeps on the sofa or in the spare room. His conversations with Melanie are brief and unemotional. She doesn’t complain about the time he spends away from home anymore, but he worries about the number of empty wine bottles he finds in the garage now. He starts the car and the Rolling Stones come on. “I can’t get no satisfaction because I try and I try and I try.” He turns it up louder than normal and his emotions pour into his Keith Richards’s air guitar solo at the red light.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Eric sighs and pulls into the parking lot of the counselor’s office. He has been dreading this session and his gut tells him it would take a miracle to fix their marriage. Still, he loves his family and he’ll try. He walks into the counselor’s office and Melanie is texting someone on her phone. Without looking up, she says, “You’re supposed to sit in that chair,” pointing to the only other seat, three feet away. Eric’s temperature rises. The counselor greets Melanie and Eric as she walks in. Melanie immediately starts to rage over Eric’s absences and his indifference to their marriage and their kids. Her face is flushed and her eyes flash. He feels a mixture of guilt and satisfaction at seeing her finally show some emotion again.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Still, he is concerned about how this is all affecting the kids. Melanie announces she hired a divorce lawyer earlier that day. He flinches, but he is also relieved because they have grown so far apart. Even though it is a logical step, he’s also ticked off because he realizes this was all a waste of time. It looks as if he will become a failed marriage statistic. “I never thought this would be me,” Eric thought.

Ryan Kalamaya:
After their session, everything comes to a head. His eyes well up with tears and questions reel in his head. “How will we break this to the kids? How will our families and friends react? Are Melanie and the kids going to stay in the house? How much is it going to cost to care for them? What about their college education and activities? Who will manage the money? Where am I going to live? How will we split our property? What about my dog? Will it live with the family now? And what about my business? Can I protect it? Or I’ll have to start again.”

Ryan Kalamaya:
For the first time in a very long time, Eric’s unsure of what to do, and he’s a little scared. He quickly understands that he needs help if he is to create the future he wants for himself, his kids, and his business.

Ryan Kalamaya:
So Amy, does any part of Eric’s story resonate with you?

Amy Goscha:
Absolutely. As a female and a divorce attorney, I never thought that I would be a divorce client, and here I am. With Eric’s story, you can tell that he’s in a tired marriage and he doesn’t know what the future looks like. And I’m doing the same thing, I’m back in Denver rebuilding my life. So I thought I would just tell everyone a little bit about myself so they’d know kind of where I’ve been, where I’m at, and where I’m going. So I’m a Colorado native, as you know, Ryan. I grew up in Littleton, Colorado with my younger brother. My parents were married for about 23 years and got divorced when I was in high school. So I was a child of divorce and I think that that’s where my passion really grew into becoming a family lawyer.

Amy Goscha:
In college, I studied psychology and I worked at a juvenile center for girls and I would monitor them on drug court. So that’s kind of where my love for the law came. I would talk to judges about how girls were doing and getting through their alternative program. That’s when I also realized that the courts can really help people, too. As much as they’re structured, these alternative programs can really help people get to the next phase of their life.

Amy Goscha:
In law school, I had the opportunity to clerk for a family law judge as a young 2L. So I got to see really good attorneys, really bad attorneys, and then families coming in, litigants who are scared, and I thought that that was a great opportunity for me to help these people move on to the next stage of their lives.

Ryan Kalamaya:
And Amy, for those that don’t know, what’s a 2L?

Amy Goscha:
It’s their second year in law school. Yeah, this lawyer jargon we kind of forget, legally. But yeah, that was one difference between I know, I went to DU, you went to CU. DU allowed us to do internships on Fridays. I had a ton of internships during law school. And then out of law school, I actually was hired by the judge that I interned for. And I just remember the first day that I clerked for her, just to see the gamut of what you deal with in family law. In the morning, we had two people come in to do a court marriage, so we had someone come in to actually get married. And by the end of the day, we had a call from a doctor for a welfare warrant on two twins. So you just see the gamut of what people deal with, the ups and downs of life, I really saw in that snapshot in the courtroom that day.

Amy Goscha:
And then I was hired as a young associate in a firm in Denver, a family law firm. And I just really loved my time at that firm because I just got to work on such cutting-edge cases, everything from getting a divorce for a same-sex couple, first probably divorce in Colorado before civil unions even were around or same-sex marriage was even legal across the United States, to helping parents change their last names so their kids can be identified at school. And I don’t know if you have gotten this, but people will send me pictures of their kids. You get to know families over the years, where I helped them with their case when they’re three and now they’re almost, well, they’re in high school. So it’s pretty cool to see the progression of the families that you and I help.

Amy Goscha:
So I spent about eight years in Denver and I moved to the mountains to get married and thought I would live in the mountains probably for the rest of my life. And life changes. And so I have a beautiful son who’s two and moved back to Denver and I’m really excited about building out the Denver office and getting back to my roots and family who are here.

Amy Goscha:
So I think my aspiration down the road, really far down the road, is to be probably a magistrate or a judge. And what really with me on that is I read an article, probably years ago, in the New York Times, where there was a judge who, she was a family judge and she created a problem-solving court. And so I know problem-solving court is a term of [inaudible 00:09:08] and we might get into that in one of our podcasts, but I really want to make a difference. I want to make the judicial system a friendly place for litigants, and I want to help resolve problems in a creative way for families. So that’s where really my passion lies, in family law. How about you? How did you start out?

Ryan Kalamaya:
So my story about becoming a divorce lawyer actually originates from playing baseball. I played baseball in college. I spent so many hours, just countless hours, practicing. Growing up in Longmont, Colorado, I knew I was at a pretty big disadvantage compared to other kids in California or Florida that had better climates and better kind of baseball cultures. So I knew I had to outwork people. And I put on mittens in the batting cage when it snowed and hit until my hands bled. I had a singular goal and that was to play at a division one school. And my self-worth was completely defined by my performance. Baseball defined me as a person. And that resulted in me feeling on top of the world in high school. And I led Colorado in various categories hitting. I got to play at Coors Field. I was cocky, I was brash. And I was in for a rude awakening.

Ryan Kalamaya:
When I got to UVA, I really struggled with depression. I missed the mountains, I missed my family, I missed 90-mile-an-hour fastballs. I missed a lot of 90-mile-an-hour fast balls. I realized that I wasn’t that good. And it was the first time in my life that my batting average was lower than my GPA. And I started to resent what baseball was doing to me personally. It became a job. I had reached my goal of playing college baseball, and I climbed my first mountain at the age of 21. And I was wondering, “Now what?” I started going through the motions at practice, I shut myself off from my teammates and my coaches. I felt alone, anxious, and scared. I knew the end of my career was near, but I didn’t know what was going to be in my future. I didn’t know what life was like without baseball, What was going to be my next kind of life mountain to climb?

Ryan Kalamaya:
And I felt both relief and sadness when I walked up for my last at-bat during a summer game in rural Virginia. I knew it was the last time I’d appear in front of a crowd as an athlete. I knew it was the end, and I was ready. The announcer mispronounced my name like everyone else does. And I swung and hit a slow roller to the shortstop and ran down the first base line and beat out the throw for an infield single. And it was a fitting way to end my career. I knew I gave everything I could to the first love of my life, which was baseball. And I could walk off the field with my head held high.

Ryan Kalamaya:
So after that, my transition to being a college baseball player to a trial lawyer was pretty bumpy. It wasn’t really straight or an easy path. I still didn’t know who I was beyond a mediocre college baseball player. Backpacked all across Europe and South Africa and Southeast Asia, mostly on my own, and thought about who I wanted to be. I had to redefine myself as a person. My mom was an elementary teacher, so I tried out teaching for a year at an elite boarding school in England. But I was too intense and competitive and independent. I wanted action, I wanted to work with people going through their own self discovery, like the period that I just kind of gone through. I wanted to return to the mountains and I wanted to build my own business.

Ryan Kalamaya:
So I ultimately decided to go into law, and all of my clients face monumental transitions in their lives. And as a married father of two and a business owner, I know the fear and love, confusion, that each person experiences when they meet with me. So that’s how I kind of gravitated towards being a divorce lawyer. That transition really interests me, and everyone’s story about how they’ve come to realize that something is over and that they need to redefine themselves. That’s what really drew me to family law.

Ryan Kalamaya:
We will be sharing some more stories, but Amy, why don’t you to tell us about what we’re going to first address substantively and put a wrap on this show and let everyone know what to expect in our upcoming episode?

Amy Goscha:
Yeah. So in our first substantive episode, we’re going to be talking about premarital agreements, how you can create them going into marriage and how you can enforce them or, essentially, not enforce them going out of marriage.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Well, as Kanye West wrapped on the song Gold Digger, “We want prenup! / It’s somethin’ that you need to have,” we’re going to find out in our next episode what do you need to have in order for there to be a valid premarital agreement here in Colorado? And why not just Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but also our hypothetical divorce client, Eric Wolf, would want a premarital agreement. Then moving along and sticking with the hip hop references, Dr. Dre of The Chronic fame, reportedly going through an $880 million divorce and there’s a challenge to his premarital agreement. Find out how that could be and the likelihood of success on that argument, at least here in Colorado, on a future episode of Divorce At Altitude.

Ryan Kalamaya:
Hey, everyone. This is Ryan again. Thank you for joining us on Divorce At Altitude. If you found our tips, insight, or discussion helpful, please tell a friend about this podcast. For show notes, additional resources, or links mentioned on today’s episode, visit divorceataltitude.com. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen in. Many of our episodes are posted on YouTube. You can also find Amy and me at kalamaya.law or (970) 315-2365. That’s K-A-L-A-M-A-Y-A.law.

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