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Colorado Springs Family Law Blog

Even after many years in my career as a Colorado Springs divorce attorney specializing in child support, I probably should not be, but am still amazed at the lengths that some non-custodial parents will go to avoid paying child support. The major thing I find so disturbing about this ongoing trend is that it reveals the lack of character and responsibility that comes out in some parents when faced with the reality of supporting their kids after a divorce. While not every parent who is not keeping up with their child support payments is intentionally avoiding them, the problem of parents shirking their legal and moral responsibility towards their children needs to be addressed.

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Before you can dissolve a marriage in the state of Colorado, all marital property must be divided equitably and legally entered in court as a “property division.”  However, even though Colorado is an “equitable distribution” state, many couples are unclear on what is considered “marital property.”   Working with an experienced Colorado Springs property division lawyer can eliminate any confusion about this issue.

According to Article 10, Sections 14-20-113 of the Colorado statutes, “marital property” can be “acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent.”  It can also be property that is acquired in exchange for existing marital property, or even property acquired by a spouse after a decree of legal separation.  Even if a couple has a prenuptial agreement, there may still be some marital property that was intentionally excluded from that agreement.  A Colorado Springs property division lawyer will help you take inventory of all marital assets in advance of any mediation or court appearance. 

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Parental Rights in Colorado

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Each state has their own laws and judicial mandates regarding parental rights. This article is a discussion of Colorado family law as it applies to children or parents residing in the state and also is informative for the military families based in and around our Colorado Springs family law offices. 

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Does it still really exist? I thought that went out with the dawn of automobiles!

These are just a few of the responses people make when they hear that Colorado still does recognize common law marriage. What most people thought was just a relationship caused by a couple living too far up in the mountains to get a justice of the peace a century ago is a very real thing for some people, and can have a drastic effect on property, inheritance, benefits and spousal maintenance.

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When you first begin considering divorce, it’s easy to think the whole process is about support, custody and division of assets. As a seasoned Colorado Springs divorce attorney, you can trust me when I say that there is much more to divorce than sorting out the legal details of ending a relationship.

We have often seen our Colorado Springs family law clients caught off guard because they fail to actually think about how they will handle the emotional fallout that comes from a changing family landscape, angry in-laws, and damaged relationships.

Financial and legal issues may be somewhat predictable; and if not a Colorado family lawyer can help make sense of them. However, your feelings at the end of a relationship won’t be so clear-cut as you negotiate the emotional end to a marriage. The overpowering emotions that come up in a divorce usually linger long after the final divorce decree arrives in your mailbox.

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The attorneys at the offices of Marrison Family Law in Colorado Springs are often asked questions about how common law marriages are recognized and ended in the state of Colorado. People are sometimes confused about whether or not the relationship they are choosing to end is legally considered a common law marriage.

They may wonder why they need to go through the legal process of getting a divorce when they never were officially married in the first place. If you’re one of those people looking for answers about common law marriage in Colorado, read on and I’ll try to answer your questions.

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Everyone understands that kids soak up everything, particularly when their parents are splitting up. 

They’re like little emotional sponges, picking up the subtle changes in their parents’ feelings, their discomforts and concerns about the coming separation that can linger in a house during the process. That's why it is important to help your children through your divorce in the best way possible.

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This is the final article in a 5 part case study reviewing a battle for child custody in Colorado. If you'd like to review this series from the beginning start with Child Custody Case Study - Part 1 or review the case study facts.

Judge Bristol changed both Maggie Bright's residential custody and decision-making authority without applying Colorado law necessary when prior court orders are modified.

Was there any way that Judge Bristol's decision complied with Colorado law for modifications?
When any Colorado trial court first wades into the muck that is contested child custody when parents separate, the rules applied to key issues like decision-making and residential custody are vastly different than if those decisions are changed years after the parents' separation is finalized.
At first glance, however, that difference in Colorado law didn't seem to apply to Maggie Bright's case.

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Child Custody Case Study - Part 4

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

THE COURT AND CASE EVALUATOR CASUALLY DISREGARDED AND EVEN TWISTED AROUND REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE AGAINST THE FATHER

The Horror When Child Abuse is Ignored

When a child is abused by a parent, most people have a difficult time even getting their heads around the idea. How could a grown person commit such an act against an innocent child, particularly one that is so young and trusting?

Maggie Bright had those exact thoughts when she presented her evidence of child abuse to the court. When she presented her testimony before Judge Bristol, she was sure that the facts, her supporting evidence and suspicions would at least get a fair hearing. But they didn’t.

Marrison Family Law first had to figure out why Judge Bristol and the evaluator Dr. Holmes ignored her abuse claims. Was she a bad witness? Did the state do an incomplete abuse investigation? Was the father’s evidence that strong? There had to be some reason, and answers needed to be found.

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Child Custody Case Study - Part 3

Monday, 05 January 2015

jurisdiction2This is part 3 of the Child Custody Case Study. To have the best understanding of this case study please refer back to the previous articles starting with this one - Child Custody Case Study: The Facts

Part 3 covers how the court failed to give Maggie Bright enough parenting time, and ignored a public policy to facilitate frequent and regular contact between parents and their children.

When Judge Bristol came back with his bombshell orders of April 1 and April 20, 2012, there was not a single earlier decision about custody, parenting and decision-making that was left untouched.

Maggie Bright was shocked. But in the midst of this shock, her attorneys at Marrison Family Law saw judicial error and opportunity. They strongly suggested that Judge Bristol’s decision was an abuse of discretion and against public policy when so little parenting time was awarded to Maggie, and so heavily restricted for little apparent reason.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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