Erica Vasconcellos Mediation

Written by Erica Vasconcellos on . Posted in Uncategorized

Mediation Erica Vasconcellos

The Law Office of Greg Quimby is pleased to announce that Erica Vasconcellos now facilitates mediation for family law cases.  She completed the 40 hours of Mediation Training and has been practicing family law for over 13 years. She has regularly used mediation in her practice. Now she can provide mediation services for attorneys with family law cases. She has successfully negotiated some of the toughest cases.

Mediation can help parties come to an agreement which allows them the flexibility that the court may not provide for their individualized cases.  Parties that are able to come to an agreement can control the outcome of their case. Erica is looking forward to helping parties through the mediation process.

Step-Parent Adoptions

Written by Erica Vasconcellos on . Posted in Uncategorized

There are some cases out there whereby one of the parents is no longer a part of the child’s life. If this is the case then a Step-Parent Adoption may be something you will want to consider.

In order to file for a Step-Parent Adoption the Biological Parent that has the child, this person is called the Custodial Biological Parent, will need to be married. Both the Custodial Biological Parent and his or her new spouse would have to agree/consent to the Step-Parent Adoption. This is a big responsibility because once the Step-Parent Adoption is granted the Step-Parent now has the same rights and responsibilities as the Biological parent.

After you determine that you and your Spouse are interested in a Step-Parent Adoption the major hurdle that you most overcome is termination of the Non-Custodial Biological Parent’s Parental Rights. The Non-Custodial Biological Parent may be willing to consent to the adoption and consent to the termination of his or her parental rights. By consenting to the termination the Non-Custodial Parent will lose all parenting rights and child support responsibilities to the child. On the other hand if the Non-Custodial Parent refuses to consent to the adoption and termination, you may have to have a hearing to terminate his or her parental rights. While the Court will look at all of the circumstances and give paramount consideration to what is in the child’s best interests, they will look specifically at the following factors:

1.  Whether the Non-Custodial Parent is unfit.

2.  Whether the Non-Custodial Parent has had meaningful contact with the child in the 12 months preceding the filing of the Step-Parent Adoption.

3.  Whether the Non-Custodial Parent has paid child support in the 12 months preceding the filing of the Step-Parent Adoption and whether there is a likelihood of future support.

In order to be successful you must only prove one of the above factors by clear and convincing evidence.

Here at the Law Office of Greg Quimby. P.C. we have experience in both contested and un-contested Step-Parent Adoptions. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation so that we can discuss your case and your options. We are here to help.

Restraining Orders in the Context of Family Law

Written by Greg Quimby on . Posted in Restraining Order

First let’s define some terms:

  1. The legal term for a restraining order is a protective order.
  2. The person requesting the restraining order is called the protected party.
  3. The person who is order to stay away from another person or location is the restrained party.

It is not uncommon for a divorce to begin with one party getting a restraining order against the other party. Sometimes restraining orders are necessary to prevent further violence or threats of violence. Sometimes restraining orders may provide a cooling-off period for the parties. Sometimes restraining orders are used by one party to gain a perceived legal advantage over the other party in a divorce or child custody proceeding.

A party may apply to the court for a temporary restraining order with the intention of gaining a permanent restraining order. A temporary restraining order is an ex parte proceeding.  An ex parte proceeding means it is done without all parties being notified. A party makes an application for a temporary restraining order.  That party appears that same day before a judicial officer who may have questions for the applicant. At that juncture, the judicial officer decides whether to issue the temporary restraining order based solely on the application of the party seeking the restraining order. The restrained party is not present and generally does not even know that there is a hearing.

Typically the sheriff’s department serves a copy of the temporary restraining order on the person being restrained. The hearing is set in about 14 days. At that point in time, both the protected party and the restrained party are heard by the court. The options are:

  1. The protected party may dismiss the temporary restraining. In that case there’s no further legal action and there is no restraining order.
  2. The restrained party may allow the restraining order to enter against them without admitting to the allegations made by the protected party. At that point in time there will not be a hearing, however, the court will make the temporary restraining order into a permanent restraining order.
  3. If the protected party still wants the restraining order and the restrained party does not agree then the court will hold a hearing. At the end of the hearing the court may either dismiss the temporary restraining order or make the restraining order permanent.

In order for the court to grant a permanent restraining order it must find two things:

  1. That there was an act of violence or threat of violence perpetrated against the protected party made by the restrained party.
  2. That unless the court takes action, the violence or the threat of violence will continue.

If a party seeks a continuance of the restraining order hearing the court, for good cause shown, may grant a continuance. If the other party objects to the continuance, the court must set the hearing within 14 days.

Restraining orders may have other orders embedded in them. For example, if the restrained party is also the party who pays the bills, that party may be order to continue paying the bills. The idea behind this is that the protected party may be financially unable to pay the normal living expenses. The protected party should not have to choose between being protected and being able to pay the bills.

The protected party, contrary to most people’s perception, is not prevented from having contact with the restrained party. The only person that can enforce the restraining order is the protected party. It is incumbent upon the restrained party to stay away from the protected party and to stay away from any of the properties listed in the restraining order. Typically the court lists both the home and workplace of the protected party.

The court that handles restraining orders does not have the authority to issue a restraining order against a biological parent and their children. That would be, in essence, terminating that parent’s rights. The court will order temporary parenting time until the domestic court can make orders concerning parenting time. The parenting time ordered through the restraining order court may be limited and even supervised.

Violations of the restraining order can result in the restrained party being arrested and charged with a crime (violation of her restraining order). The protected party cannot be charged with violating the restraining since the protected party is not ordered to stay away from the other party.

The attorneys at The Law Office of Greg Quimby are experienced in providing legal representation regarding the complexities of restraining orders.  The information you obtain at this site is not legal advice nor is it intended to be legal advice.

We were Honored by KLite 106.3 as Workplace of the Week!

Written by Greg Quimby on . Posted in Uncategorized

The Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. is pleased to announce that today KLite 106.3 presented us with the award of Workplace of the Week.  We are thankful of this recognition.  We received Workplace of the Week because our office manager, Renee Ybarra took her time to enter us in the KLite drawing to brag about our firm atmosphere and that she thoroughly enjoys being a part of the Quimby law family.

Captain Dan, radio host from KLite 106.3 just before honoring us with the Workplace of the Week award.

Captain Dan, radio host from KLite 106.3 just before honoring us with the Workplace of the Week award.

KLite Staff Photo

 

DIVISION OF ASSETS AND DEBTS IN THE DIVORCE OR SEPARATION CONTEXT

Written by Greg Quimby on . Posted in Divorce/Separation

From the day you get married until the day you are divorced or separated, you accumulate assets and debts. These assets and debts are to be divided by the court in the final orders hearing unless the couple reaches an agreement. While it is standard for the court to divide the assets and the debts equally between the parties, that is not what the statute says. The statute tells the court to divide the assets and debts equitably not equally.

For instance, if one party makes 5 times more in income than what the other party makes then the equitable division of marital debt would be 80% of the debt to the higher wage earner and only 20% of the debt to the lower wager. The court has the authority to make that determination.

Conversely, it may be more fair that the higher wage earner get less of the assets under the theory that they can make this up over the years to come.

In the first paragraph, I make the statement that the court considers everything acquired from the date of marriage until the date of divorce or separation. There is an exception to this general rule. If one of the parties inherits an asset during the marriage and that party keeps the asset in their name only, then the court has no authority to give that asset to the other party. For example if a party inherits $10,000 and puts that money in an account that does not have the other party’s name on the account, then that inheritance stays with the party who inherited the money.

Let’s take another example. If one party inherits a house, and keeps that house in their name only, then accordingly that house should belong to the person who inherited it. But if the person who inherited the house uses marital funds to pay the taxes on the house, to fix the house up, to pay the utilities on the house, then the court would be free to assume that this house is marital property.

There are many rules and there are exceptions to the rules. It takes an experienced divorce attorney to be able to sort out these difficult and complex situations. The attorneys at The Law Office of Greg Quimby have that ability to and can help you in these difficult situations. The information you obtain at this site is not legal advice nor is it intended to be legal advice.

Our initial consultations are free.

Relocation of Children Out Of Colorado

Written by Greg Quimby on . Posted in Parenting Time

There are times when a parent would like to relocate outside of Colorado and take the child or children with them. This typically requires the consent of the other parent or an order from the court. We live in a town where many people come here or leave here because of military transfers. There are times when couples split, when one would like to move back to where his or her family is located. That is never a problem but moving the children can be a very difficult process. Divorce is tough enough on kids by itself but when one parent chooses to relocate to another state, whether or not they take the children, this causes turmoil in the children’s lives.

                There are two scenarios when a parent requests to relocate out of Colorado and take the children. The first scenario is right after the initial break but before the court has entered Final Orders. It is always better to see if an agreement can be reached between the parents. If you can’t reach an agreement than the court needs to step in and make a decision. At this juncture the court must accept the location where the relocating parent wants to live. Then the court needs to determine the appropriate parenting time. Typically, if one parent has been the most involved parent with the children, the court allows that parent to take the children to the new location.

                The second scenario is when one parent wants to relocate the child or children out of Colorado after Final Orders. Again an agreement between the parties is always better. When the court is called upon to make a decision in this instance, the factors are much more elaborate. The court is required to make 21 separate findings under the current case law. The reason that this is more difficult is because there has already been a Final Order of the court. The parent who wishes to relocate has an equal burden with the other parent to show that this move is in the best interest of the child or children.

Under the first scenario the reason for the move is unquestioned and automatically accepted by the court. Under the second scenario the reason for the relocation will also be examined as one of the 21 factors. As you might imagine, both sides must present evidence to the court on all these factors which can be extremely complicated.

As every situation is unique, you should consult a child custody lawyer at the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. for advice regarding your individual situation.  The information you obtain at this site is not legal advice nor is it intended to be legal advice.

Child Support Calculations and the Cost Savings Benefit of Attorneys

Written by Greg Quimby on . Posted in Child Support

Child support is calculated by the court based on a multi-page statute that is tremendously complex. There are many “calculators” out there to use but there is no guarantee that they calculate child support correctly. The attorneys at The Law Office of Greg Quimby PC have the official calculators used by the court. Our initial consultations are free.

Some of the factors that are used by the court are: the income of the parents; any spousal maintenance being paid between the parents; health insurance paid on behalf of the children; the cost of daycare for the children; if either parent has other children that are not of this relationship; AND the number of overnights each parent has with the child or children.

For someone who is a typical paycheck employee, it’s pretty easy to ascertain their gross monthly income (before taxes). The challenge comes for self-employed people or a variety employed people like waiters, hairstylists, or others that may not have a clear record of all money that they receive.

There are also times, but few in number, where the courts will deviate from the amount of child support suggested by the child support guidelines. The court is required to make a record and offer good reasons for that deviation.

The court will take into account each party’s full-time employment. If the party is not employed full-time, they will inquire into the circumstances.  Some legitimate reasons for not being employed full-time are: being a full-time student; being disabled; being a stay-at-home parent for a number of years and just entering the workforce; etc.  But it would be up to that party to convince the court that the case is legitimate.

If someone works more than 40 hours a week, the court will use the additional income in the child support calculation if the hours over 40 are mandatory. If you are doing voluntarily overtime, just make a few extra dollars than the court may not count those dollars in your gross income.

As you can see, the subject of child support can be a difficult one to handle on your own. If it costs $2000 to have an attorney assist with child support and if it saves you $200 a month, then it pays for itself in 10 months.  Having a good well versed child support attorney can provide a significant cost saving benefits. 

The information you obtain at this site is not legal advice nor is it intended to be legal advice. As every situation is unique, you should consult a child support lawyer at the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. for advice regarding your individual situation.

Child Support Versus Parenting Time

Written by Greg Quimby on . Posted in Parenting Time

There is a misconception that a parent who pays child support has the right to have parenting time with his or her children. The two are not connected in that way. The payment of child support from one parent to the other is for the benefit of the child or children. It is based on numerous factors. The parenting time assigned by the court is based on a single act - the best interest of the child or children. The factors addressing the best interest of the children are outlined in the Colorado Statutes and the following are some of those factors:

(1) The wishes of the child's parents as to parenting time;

(2) The child's bond with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child;

(3) The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;

(3) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;

(4) The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party (exceptions may be allowed in situations where one parent is trying to protect a child from domestic violence, child abuse or neglect);

(5) Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;

(6) The distance between the parents;

(7) The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.

An attorney that specializes in child support, parenting time, and custody decisions can explain these factors in greater detail. The attorneys at The Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. located in Colorado Springs, CO are well versed in this area.

The information you obtain at this site is not legal advice nor is it intended to be legal advice. You should consult a child support lawyer or a child custody lawyer for advice regarding your individual situation.

Our initial consultations are free.