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Ann Catherine Gushurst

Ann Gushurst’s Answers

16 total


  • I am an american Citizen that married in Italy to a non american and now I want a divorce

    HI all, I have a double citizenship (Italian/US), got married in Italy to an Italian girl in 2005 and now we want to divorce. I will soon get the Italian ufficial separation act, but then I will have to wait another 3 years and then I will be able...

    Ann’s Answer

    Joel,

    Most states, if not all, only can grant a divorce when they have jursidiction that is based upon residency of at least one of the spouses. Some states have abridged times for residency - and Nevada used to be notorious for the "Las Vegas" divorce - but my understanding is that this may have changed. In Colorado, you must have resided here for 90 days PRIOR to filing a divorce, and then you have to wait an additional 90 days to obtain the divorce.

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  • Which takes precedence, separation agreement or divorce decree?

    If I have a separation agreement that has one parent time plan, then I have a divorce decree with a different parent time plan, which is followed?

    Ann’s Answer

    In Colorado, generally the decree adopts the separation agreement as the order of the court. I don't know how you could end up with a separation agreement that is different from the decree unless you didn't incorporate the agreement into the decree, or IF the separation agreement was done later. If so, the answer depends on whether or not the separation agreemeent was adopted by the court and made an order of the court. The court is bound to accept the separation agreement, under CRS 14-10-112 if it finds that it is a fair agreement and in teh best interests of your children. Since parenting plans are always modifiable, whichever is the latest order of the court is what the current order is. I hope this helps.

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  • Do I have to pay for the parenting classes if I don't want the divorce?

    I don't want the divorce and I discovered we have to take separate parenting classes, but I can't afford them. Can I make my wife pay for the classes?

    Ann’s Answer

    When you don't want the divorce, the whole process feels even more unfair, but Colorado is a "no-fault" state and you are still required to pay for parenting classes. The average cost is approximately $40-80 unless you are talking about extended classes, which can range from $600 - $1200. In the case of the standard class, I have never seen the court order that the other spouse pay for it. In the case of extended parenting classes, which are frequently ordered when there is a great deal of conflict, I have seen courts order that the parent with more money pay a disproportionate amount of the cost. By the way, you DON'T have to take separate classes and, if you have a modicum of communication, it is often a good idea to take them together so you both hear the same things... Good luck.

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  • My husband is divorcing me after 13 years of marriage, should I get a job?

    My husband is divorcing me after 13 years of marriage. I have stayed home the last 9 years taking care of our 3 children and have not worked. Is it in my best interest to wait to find a job until after the divorce is final?

    Ann’s Answer

    Although there are different strategic approaches to this type of case, generally my advice is that the sooner you get started finding a career and earning money, the better off you are. Some people will tell you that if you have no income, your entitlement to spousal support may be greater, and there is some truth to that. However, in this bad economy, many judges are unhappy when you walk into court without having made any effort to find income, and I have seen this strategy backfire.

    On a more practical level, developing a career after a nine year absence from the workforce, takes time. You are better off to decide what type of work you want to ease into, and to find out by attempting to find a job, whether or not what you want to do is what you will be able to do. I have seen judges "penalize" stay at home spouses who haven't found work during a divorce by imputing them incomes that they cannot possibly expect to earn right away in types of jobs that the spouse has no intention of pursuing. Your husband could hire an expert who could state you are capable of earning far more than you can; the only way to show what you are capable of earning is to go and get a job. Also, taking control of your situation will give you not only more independence, but the knowledge of what you can earn so that if your husband gets a hired gun to say you can earn more, you can tell the judge - "hey, I applied to those types of jobs, and I couldn't get a job at that level of income."

    The one caveat to this is that if you are trying to get more education in order to get a better job, then you need to investigate that as well. Sometimes the best plan is to go back to school. I would definitely talk to a vocational expert to investigate what is your best option to be self supporting.

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  • I am anticipating a divorce after 33 years. Was a stay at home mom until 7 years ago & now work full time. Kids all raised

    We have no debt. He makes 60K, I make 25K. Is it still possible to get alimony. I will never be able to live the life style he does on 25K. I am covering him on my health insurance. It is possible to make him cover me the rest of my life. We are b...

    Ann’s Answer

    The answer to this question really depends on the jurisdiction you are in. In Colorado, you would likely qualify for maintenance because for a marriage of this duration, court generally believe that it is equitable that both parties have the same standard of living. Other jurisdictions look at spousal support differently - some basically do not offer much maintenance and others only assess whether or not you have enough income to meet your basic living needs. In most states, inheritances or other gifts are considered separate, except to the extent that they have increased in value over the duration of the marriage. In considering whether or not you are entitled to half of his retirement, the answer generally would be yes - but with the caveat that he would likely be entitled to half of your retirement as well, and generally courts offset these entitlements. Colorado has equitable jurisdiction though, so if there is a reason one or the other of you might need more than half (as might be the case if one of you is disabled and has greater costs) then the court might deviate from a strict 50-50 division.

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  • I was legally separated 7 years ago in CO. We reconciled later, but want to file divorce now. Can I petition court to divorce?

    We reconciled after a legal separation 7 years ago in Colorado. However, we want to divorce now. Can I just petition the court and use the papers from the legal separation, or do I have to start all over again?

    Ann’s Answer

    Actually, if the legal separation is still in effect, in Colorado you can convert that to a divorce decree by filing a motion to that effect, pursuant to CRS 14-10-120 that states you have sent notice to your spouse that you wish to convert the legal separation to a decree of divorce. Nothing about the decree of legal separation is affected by the reconciliation unless you took steps to dissolve the legal separation. You do not have to file a separate petition for divorce.

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