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Adoption by stepparents is a common process in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. When the biological parent's spouse is willing to take on parental duties, legally adopting the child may be a sound decision. However, this setup is not for everyone, especially if the stepchild has a biological parent who is present in his or her life, and/or still provides support. Marrison Family Law in Colorado offers assistance to a parent who wants to adopt a stepchild. Here are some legal matters worth considering.

The rights of the biological parent: If the biological parent is still alive, then they must be willing to relinquish their parental rights or if unwilling, they must be found to have abandoned the child such that the child becomes available for adoption. However, if the biological parent cannot be found, or doesn't want to relinquish rights, enlisting the help of an experienced family lawyer can help.

Compliance with state adoption laws: Adoption laws vary with each state. Marrison Family Law suggests enlisting the help of legal professionals to help stepparents complete the state's legal requirements.

Court hearings: Stepparents must ensure their presence during the hearing for the finalization of the adoption. To learn more about how these hearings are conducted, the stepparent's legal team will walk their clients through the process.

Marrison Family Law is an award-winning firm based in Colorado Springs. For over 40 years, it has been offering legal services to people going through the difficult process of divorce. For more reads on family law, go to this page.

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Stepchild Adoption

Sunday, 03 November 2019

Adoption by stepparents is a common process in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. When the biological parent's spouse is willing to take on parental duties, legally adopting the child may be a sound decision. However, this setup is not for everyone, especially if the stepchild has a biological parent who is present in his or her life, and/or still provides support. Marrison Family Law in Colorado offers assistance to a parent who wants to adopt a stepchild.

Here are some legal matters worth considering.

The rights of the biological parent: If the biological parent is still alive, then they must be willing to relinquish their parental rights or if unwilling, they must be found to have abandoned the child such that the child becomes available for adoption. However, if the biological parent cannot be found, or doesn't want to relinquish rights, enlisting the help of an experienced family lawyer can help.

Compliance with state adoption laws: Adoption laws vary with each state. Marrison Family Law suggests enlisting the help of legal professionals to help stepparents complete the state's legal requirements. Court hearings: Stepparents must ensure their presence during the hearing for the finalization of the adoption. To learn more about how these hearings are conducted, the stepparent's legal team will walk their clients through the process.

Marrison Family Law is an award-winning firm based in Colorado Springs. For over 40 years, it has been offering legal services to people going through the difficult process of divorce. For more reads on family law, go to this page.

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Marrison Family Law helps clients attain the rights that are accorded to them by the law. Obviously, there may be many good-faith reasons why a mother may not wish to reveal the true biological father of her child. Where a woman intentionally falsifies the fact of paternity for financial gain, however, this may be paternity fraud.

This problem is continuing to rise for various reasons, such as the growing number of unwed mothers in America. It has also been reported that 38 percent of children in the U.S. were borne out of wedlock. Moreover, their number of extramarital affairs are on the rise as well. If you find yourself accused of being the father of a child you do not believe is yours, there are remedies.

In Colorado, a partial solution to this issue was enacted through the signing of the Senate Bill SB08-183 last 2008. It sought to help potential paternity fraud victims by giving them the opportunity to disprove paternity claims. It comes with restrictions, however, in the form of provisions and amendments. For example, men are only afforded two years to file a modification that questions their paternity. Given that many unmarried men find out late about a child support order, this addition can jeopardize their ability to find success in fighting paternity fraud.

It is best then for those who feel they have fallen victim to paternity fraud to consult an experienced paternity lawyer, such as Marrison Family Law so that they would get to know what course of actions need to be taken as soon as possible.

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Where divorcing parents fail to agree on a parenting plan, and seek the help of a Colorado court, judges base their decisions on the best interests of the children. Colorado law acknowledges that it is generally in a child’s best interest to have regular contact with both parents and to have both parents take part in child-rearing. Generally, the court is required to consider all relevant factors, including the following when determing parenting time:

  • the wishes of the child
  • the wishes of the parents
  • parent-child, parent-sibling interactions or the relationship between the child and other persons
  • the adjustment of the child to the home, school, and community mental and physical health of all involved
  • ability of the parent to encourage and foster the love affection and contact between the child and another parent
  • past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child
  • physical proximity of the parties to each other ability of the parties to place the needs of the child first

Marrison Family Law is an award-winning firm in Colorado Springs, as ranked among the top 100 lawyers in America by The National Advocates. It is also the largest firm in the Pikes Peak area that exclusively focuses on family law. L

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Marrison Family Law is a law firm specializes in family law, specifically divorce. A number of their clients are those nearing retirement. On that note, here’s a look at divorce during the later years of a person’s life:

Statistics show an increasing number of couples going through a late-age divorce. While this is both a normal occurrence and a harsh truth in American society, researchers have found that divorce is a different experience for those who are beyond the age of 55.

Take for example the marital residence. As with many older persons, the house may be paid off. The spouse who wishes to keep the property must buy the other spouse out. This can be done with a new mortgage, however, there is sometimes not sufficient income to qualify for a mortgage. Another option is to give a disproportionate share of the other assets, such as retirement accounts, or savings accounts, to the other spouse. However, unless the couple is in the upper-income ranges, this option may leave one or both spouses cash poor. A third option is to sell and split the equity in the home. However, leaving a home may be difficult emotionally and cause confusion, or may exacerbate any mental disorders which are commonly experienced by older persons.

Retirement benefits are divided in divorce proceedings. A separate court order directing the benefits company is often needed for the division of retirement benefits. This is a rather complex process, which involves issues such as whether there are any tax penalties, as well as who obtains benefits for any descendants if one of the ex-spouses passes away. Divorce lawyers are needed for this.

Especially for senior citizens who haven’t retired, and continue to work, the divorce will involve an issue of alimony or maintenance as it is referred to in Colorado. The interplay between retirement benefits, social security benefits, income, and alimony usually requires expert advice.

But whatever the age of a person, if the marriage looks to be coming to an end, Marrison Family Law still recommends they seek legal counsel for the betterment of their future.

Marrison Family Law is an award-winning family law firm based in Colorado Springs. Visit this website for more details on its services.

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Every parent will tell you that parenting itself is difficult enough, but it’s even harder to meet the standards of being a good parent.These standards have changed drastically over time as well.Some parents consider voluntarily giving up their parental rights, thinking that it’s best for their child. Other parents are forced to give up parental rights involuntarily, as a result of court proceedings for neglect or abuse, explains Colorado-based family legal counsel Marrison Family Law.

It must be emphasized, however, that voluntary termination of parental rights is not permitted in the state of Colorado except in anadoption, whether it be by both parents upon the birth of a child for whom neither biological parent can provide, or in cases where a stepparent will assume the role of the relinquishing parent. 

Parental rights refer to not only the rights but also the duties of parents such asdecisionmaking on major issues in a child’s life, discipline of the child, support of the child both emotionally and monetarily, residence of the child,managementand control of the child’s property and earnings, medical care, and physical care in general. 

Keep in mind that even if a parent qualifies under Colorado law for one of the few opportunities to relinquish parental rights, that determination is for the Court to decide, and is normally not reversible, absent a new adoption by the relinquishing parent.In other words, once the relinquishment goes through, the parent becomes a stranger to the child with no more rights than your neighbor down the street, adds Marrison Family Law.

Marrison Family Law is also the largest firm in the Colorado Springs area exclusively focused on family law. In 2014, The National Advocates recognized the firm’s owner, Pat Marrison, as part of their Top 100 Lawyers award. More on this renowned legal counsel here.

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Family Law 101: Uncontested divorce

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

A stereotypical picture of a divorce settlement would be that of estranged spouses who no longer care for each other trying to get the most out of their failed marriage. After all, couples use their anger as a means to separate from each other. However, the more the parties argue, the more expensive the divorce will be. A better way, then, is to spend some money on a good therapist, and try to approach the divorce logically and fairly. There may be no need for drawn out divorce litigation, if the parties come to a mutually acceptable agreement.

According to divorce lawyers from Marrison Family Law, there are many procedures couples can take when going through with a divorce. One of these is an uncontested divorce.

As the term suggests, an uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree to the terms and conditions set by each other. This can save a lot of time and money due to the streamlined nature of this process.

For a divorce to be deemed uncontested, both parties must agree to all issues, i.e. child-custody and parenting time, child support, property division, and spousal support and any other issues. If both parties are in agreement for all terms they may file their “Separation Agreement and Parenting Plan” at the same time as they file the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage.

The main benefits of an uncontested divorce are a lower cost, a speedier outcome, and the benefit of a smooth emotional transition from an intact family to a new life as single persons. Attorney representation is always advisable.

More than 25 years since it was established, Marrison Family Law continues to value family ties above all. Though the process of divorce will never be easy, couples should be given the chance to pursue better opportunities in life, even if it means dissolving their marriage. To know more about the company and their services, visit this website.

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Divorce Strategies You Should Avoid

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

When a couple decides to divorce, their lawyers may use a variety of strategies to accomplish the best for the client. While most divorces are fair, some individuals take risks so that they can weigh the scales of justice in their favor.

This could either benefit them immensely or backfire spectacularly. According to divorce lawyers from Marrison Family Law, certain divorce strategies are often too risky and therefore should be avoided. Here are some of them:

Scorch and Burn
The scorch and burn approach will do anything to inflict pain on the other side. This is the choice of the party who has unresolved anger, often when he or she feels victimized by the former spouse. It is important to save your emotions for the therapist’s couch and to approach the issues of children, income, and assets so as to achieve fairness, and to think of the children first. Colorado is a no-fault state, meaning the Court will not consider how much one party has been humiliated or hurt by the other. While emotion may be the energizer in a divorce, it could cloud individual judgment and is often counter-productive. It could also be painful to one’s self in the end, after the negative emotions have cooled, and the family is left shattered.

Choice Changing
Anyone who is about to go through a divorce should enter the court with a goal in mind. If a person wants something out of the divorce, their demands should be clear. If these demands change after every meeting, their divorce attorneys would have difficulty following through. If there is a chance for one party to get more out of the divorce, the lawyer would be aware of this and will most likely advise their client.

Divorces are only messy when parties act out. According to lawyers from Marrison Family Law, lawyers should have a firm grip on their clients, set their expectations, and proceed prudently.

Marrison Family Law is an award-winning firm in Colorado Springs, as ranked among the top 100 lawyers in America by The National Advocates. It is also the largest firm in the Pikes Peak area that exclusively focuses on family law. Learn more about Marrison Family Law by visiting this website.

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Not every marriage ends in happily ever after. Some last for decades, others just a few years. Thankfully, the process of divorce has been around for decades as a civil measure for terminating a marriage.

According to divorce lawyers at Marrison Family Law, divorce rates for both highly educated couples and lower income couples are at 11% and 17% respectively. And given that divorces are often expensive processes, here are some ways to prepare if a divorce is in the horizon.

Find the most peaceful divorce option
Not all divorce proceedings need to be drawn out. If a couple can be civil about the reality of divorce, they can have plenty of options to save a lot of time and money, such as in an uncontested divorce. By doing so, the parties can focus less on the divorce and more on what comes after.

Organize asset documents
From the outset, both parties should compile all the necessary documents needed for the litigation. These can include anything from financial documents, such as bank statements, mortgage or automobile loan applications, or paystubs to a list of assets and their net worth, state and federal tax returns, mortgage statements, insurance policies, and so on.

Respect the procedure
Like marriage, the divorce process should be respected by both parties. Any unwillingness to take responsibility for your part in the breakdown of the marriage will undoubtedly make things more difficult. If possible, resolve the emotional issues with a competent marriage counselor or therapist rather than using the divorce to hurt your former spouse.

According to divorce lawyers at Marrison Family Law, being knowledgeable about divorce proceedings could greatly facilitate the process. Getting educated on what’s best for your life after marriage is a necessary step for everyone going through a divorce settlement.

For over 25 years, Marrison Family Law has been offering legal services to people going through the difficult process of divorce. In any circumstance, the breakdown of a marriage will never be easy. Going through the settlement can affect family relationships. Visit this website to know more about their services.

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When divorced couples receive parental rights, it also entails parental responsibilities, including providing the children with clothing, food, shelter, education, healthcare, and more. Marrison Family Law has handled numerous cases wherein clients seek to voluntarily relinquish these rights.

Such parents have differing reasons for doing so. An example is the waiving of financial obligations to the children. In this case, of course, family courts will prioritize the welfare and the best interest of the children rather than what is convenient or advantageous for the parents.

Colorado family courts only allow a parent to voluntarily terminate their parental rights in one situation: if it is proven that another party, such as a step-parent, is willing and able to take responsibility for the child through formal adoption. Every state follows its own laws and procedures in determining the conditions whether to agree on voluntary termination of parental rights.

Parents who wish to go through with this process must contemplate about it extensively because of the magnitude of rights they will lose. Consulting or asking for the assistance of a family law expert, such as Marrison Family Law, is essential in coming up with the most appropriate decision.

They would remind clients that some of the rights they would give up are custody or visitation rights. While the parent who receives custody of the child can allow the other parent to visit, the latter will have no legal recourse should the former changed their mind.

Furthermore, relinquishing parental rights means forfeiting any input regarding the child’s education, place of residence, religion, and other life decisions.

For over a quarter-century, Marrison Family Law has provided family legal services in the Pikes Peak area in Colorado. To read more about family law, check out this blog.

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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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