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Ann Catherine Gushurst

Ann Gushurst’s Answers

16 total


  • Is it my responsibility to drive at all to pick up my child from his father's weekend when court order says differently?

    1. Divorce in CO 2. Both parties now reside in TX 3. Child is starting elementary school. 4. Father has been following divorce papers from day 1 for almost every every other weekend visitation from CO to TX. 5. Father has now moved 200 miles ...

    Ann’s Answer

    First of all, since you both live in Texas, you should register your order in Texas and enfore it there. You can enforce here, but the cost of doing so would not necessarily be a good financial decision.

    Second, if this were Colorado, you could enforce the order that Dad does all the driving and my guess would be that Texas would be the same way. HOWEVER, courts recognize that children are best served when they have both parents in their lives, and if your ex asked the court to modify the plan so that you shared the driving, a court might go along with that by reasoning that both parents should do what they can to allow the child good access to both parents.

    It might be worth arriving at a compromise if you are willing to consider doing that. If your ex didn't consult you and just imposed this driving on you, I would imagine you are pretty frustrated right now, but in the bigger picture, while driving 35 miles and back is a big haul, but it sounds like less than what your ex is doing. A court might make you do half the driving! If you do reach a compromise, I would highly recommend you put it in writing.

    Another thing you might consider is whether or not there is a quick flight and your child is old enough to travel unaccompanied.

    I would definitely consult a lawyer if you and your ex cannot work this out. Check collaborativepractice.com to find a good Texas attorney if you want to avoid the stress of filing in Colorado to enforce the order.

    Good luck.

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  • What do I have to do to keep my son from seeing my baby's dad's girlfriend?

    My baby's dad has a girlfriend that had her children taken away from her by Social Services and insists that she be allowed to see my son. I don't have a problem with him having visitation with my son as long as his girlfriend is not involved. Wha...

    Ann’s Answer

    It really depends on the situation. If the woman had her children taken away for child abuse, then you probably can prevent her from having time with your child, but that would depend on the circumstances.

    Courts base decisions on these matters on what should be done to protect the interests of the children.

    Usually when a parent wants to prevent a girlfriend or a boyfriend from having contact with their children, they can be - at least in part - motivated by fear (that the other person will impact their relationship as a mother or a father) or anger (over a betrayal of the relationship) that have nothing to do with what is going on for the child. Fear that another person will harm your child is a legitimate concern - very legitimate - and you need to show the court that this type of motivation is behind your concern.

    These cases really depend upon the facts of the situation AND how you approach the case. If you become seen as a jealous ex-wife, then even when your concerns turn out to be right, people may not pay attention.

    I would suggest you find out - if you can - why the woman lost her children, and decide if the grounds for that case apply to your children. I would also suggest that you consult an attorney.

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  • Do I have a chance at custody?

    I was contacted by CPS a month ago to take a paternity test regarding a 2 year old boy that I was told wasn't mine. I just found out I am indeed the father. This is apparently the second time CPS has taken the child away and now they have revo...

    Ann’s Answer

    First of all, in Colorado, the term is not custody it is "parental rights and responsibilities".

    You do have rights, and they are constitutional, to parent your child. Those rights, however, will be balanced against the right of your child to have his best interests protected.

    If you are truly willing to step up and be in this boy's life, I would make many suggestions. First, get involved in the Dependency and Neglect case by entering an appearance (you may want to retain an attorney to help you) and by asking the court to let you have a relationship with your son. Second, contact the sister and ask to be introduced, and to gradually get to know your son. Third, get some good books on child development and parenting, so that you will understand what it is that you are going to be doing.

    No court is going to give you a child who, at age two, doesn't know you at all. This would be traumatic for the child, and you need to understand that and to understand why it would be traumatic.

    But, if you get to know your son, and if you establish a good relationship, then gradually a court would likely give you increasing responsibilities and time with your son. If the mother really cannot handle being a mother full time, then it is possible that you could step in as the full time parent. However, two years of age is a really critical developmental time, and it is unlikely that a court would let you step in overnight for that reason.

    Good luck.

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  • Is there any way I can divorce my husband while he's deployed?

    My husband is extremely emotionally and verbally abusive towards me and our 2 year old. We've tried counseling and it's not helping. He's even had dv charges against him but his case was dismissed. I'm afraid of him and what he will do to me if I ...

    Ann’s Answer

    Colorado is a no fault state - so you do not have to have grounds other than declaring that your marriage is irretrievably broken. Your spouse has protection against divorce under the Soldier's and Sailor's Act, but that does not leave you unprotected. I strongly recommend you seek a good divorce attorney in the Springs, as most of them have a good working relationship with JAG and are knowledgeable regarding divorce involving a spouse who is serving in the military. Good Luck.

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  • Can i file my divorce papers and a motion

    my husband currently has the kids by court order.he is a police chief and knows the law.i want to know if i file the divorce papers can i still file a motion to see my kids

    Ann’s Answer

    The answer to this really depends on what "court order" your husband has obtained. Without that information, it is impossible to answer this question.

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  • What paperwork needs to be filled out for a divorce without assets or children in adams county, colorado?

    we have been living seperate for 2009. he is in jail in adams county. the home is going through a short sale. we have nothing with both our names on it except the house, that with that short sale has no value. i have been paying upkeep and hoa...

    Ann’s Answer

    You have to fill out both the Petition for divorce (form 1101) AND a financial affidavit (form 1111) and a summons (form 1102). Additionally, there are a few other forms that must be completed (the form for certificate of disclosure 1104 and, if there is agreement, a separation agreement, a decree, and an affidavit for non-appearance of the parties.

    Even though it sounds like you are not asking for any support, and there are not any assets , the court still requires that a financial affidavit be filed.

    http://www.courts.state.co.us has a really good self-help section that can guide you.

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  • Can I take Ex Wife to Small Claims court for not paying expenses not covered in divorce decree and parenting agreement?

    I paid child support faithfully for 11 years. During that time I incurred numerous expenses for the child that my ex never paid me back for. Car insurance and repairs, legal fees, cell phone, medical, tutor expenses.She verbally agreed to pay ha...

    Ann’s Answer

    It is really unlikely that you could prevail in small Claims court under this fact pattern. The District Court, reviewing the facts, already found that they did not have a grounds to award you compensation, and they have all the same jurisdiction to award costs (contract, court order, tort) as does Small Claims. So, not only are you unlikely to find that there is an additional grounds supporting an award to you, but you are likely to run into a defense of "res judicata" which boils down to a finding that this claim has already been ruled upon by a court of competent jurisdiction. Sorry....

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  • Signing a final separation agreement

    I just went through mediation a few days ago and signed the final separation agreement. Can it be voided

    Ann’s Answer

    This is the type of question that you need to ask an attorney directly, because the answer probably depends to a large degree on both why you want to void the agreement and what state you are in.

    Generally, contracts can be voided if the agreement was the result of being forced (duress), being coerced, or when the other party committed fraud to get you to sign the document. You can also void an agreement if you were incapable of signing it because you were under the influence of drugs, or a head injury, or something along the lines of "I didn't really know what I was doing."

    Lastly, if the agreement is ambiguous, or what you thought you agreed to isn't reflected in the agreement - i.e. both parties made a mistake - then those are also grounds for setting aside an agreement.

    BUT, this is hard to do unless you have a really good reason. For example if you just don't like the deal, at least in Colorado, they will still hold you to it UNLESS it is so unfair that it "shocks the conscience".

    I hope this helps, but you should QUICKLY check with an attorney in your state because the longer you wait the harder this will be to overturn.

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  • Signing a final separation agreement

    I just went through mediation a few days ago and signed the final separation agreement. Can it be voided

    Ann’s Answer

    This is the type of question that you need to ask an attorney directly, because the answer probably depends to a large degree on both why you want to void the agreement and what state you are in.

    Generally, contracts can be voided if the agreement was the result of being forced (duress), being coerced, or when the other party committed fraud to get you to sign the document. You can also void an agreement if you were incapable of signing it because you were under the influence of drugs, or a head injury, or something along the lines of "I didn't really know what I was doing."

    Lastly, if the agreement is ambiguous, or what you thought you agreed to isn't reflected in the agreement - i.e. both parties made a mistake - then those are also grounds for setting aside an agreement.

    BUT, this is hard to do unless you have a really good reason. For example if you just don't like the deal, at least in Colorado, they will still hold you to it UNLESS it is so unfair that it "shocks the conscience".

    I hope this helps, but you should QUICKLY check with an attorney in your state because the longer you wait the harder this will be to overturn.

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  • I'm a US citizen married to a Canadian, we got married in Canada, how do I file for divorce from Calif.?

    I'm a US citizen that moved to Canada in '06 and married a Canadian Citizen. The marriage was abusive and I ended up leaving in late '07. I just want to divorce him without having to go all the way back there, I don't want any of his stuff, or mon...

    Ann’s Answer

    If you live in the united states, you can divorce your husband here by serving him with papers in Canada, under what is known as "long arm" jurisdiction. However, this only permits the court to divorce you - the court cannot, for example, divide property or make custody orders unless it has jurisdiction over property and children, which it does not under this type of service. Of course, your husband can agree (and he may, since he probably wants the divorce as well) to accept service voluntarily.

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