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Suzanne Griffiths

Suzanne Griffiths’s Answers

29 total

  • Divorce; Fair and Equitable Distribution of Individual Retirement Account funds

    My wife and I are pursuing an uncontested divorce. I am trying to determine what is "fair and equitable" (percentage) distribution of my IRA accounts. I am retired, not working, and collecting social security. My wife has never worked, therefor...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    Colorado is an equitable division state. In deciding what is equitable the Court will look at issues such as the total assets, the contributions of the parties and your earnings. Since your wife has never worked, she probably does not have the same earnings from social security that you have. This is an economic factor which the Court can take into account. It does appear that she is able to work after the divorce and that may balance out the social security issue.
    As a starting point an equal division of the IRA is the most likely outcome. However if your social security benefits are a lot higher than what she can expect to earn there may be an argument for her to get an additional share. Since you have provided limited facts you may choose to have a one time meeting with a lawyer who can review the complete assets, income etc.

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  • How do I prepare for a pending divorce?

    I sure I'm headed for a divorce. It's taken a long time to get here and I feel it will happen within a year, as time shows us neither of us are willing to change. What is the best way to prepare for divorce? What should my priorities be? We ha...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    The divorce will require financial disclosures so get your finances in good order. You will need 3 years of tax returns, your bank statements, credit card statements, details of your earnings and assets, insurance documents etc. Since you run a business you need all the details of receipts and expenses.
    Usually the Courts will not set off a child support obligation against equity in the house. If you have a maintenance claim you might decide to waive that claim in return for additional assets.

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  • Filing for sole custody

    I am going to file for sole custody because the father hasn't seen my son since he was less than 1 month old. He is now 9 years old. The father has gone to the extreme of dodging out on child supprot and is currently sitting in jail for contempt o...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    Go to the Colorado State website. http://www.courts.state.co.us/Forms/Forms_List.cfm/Form_Type_ID/15

    You need to file a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities. All the information needed can be found on the web site. Your chances of getting sole parental responsibilities are good because the father has not played much role in the child's life and is in jail.

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  • Does it look poorly upon me if I ask the father to terminate his parental rights before the baby is born?

    The father told a mutual friend he was planning on purchasing a product to cause me to lose the baby, which I find concerning. He randomly would take interest in the fact that I was caring his child but for the most part seemed unhappy with the wh...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    When considering allocation of parental rights and responsibilities the Court will look at the conduct of both parties. A threat that might harm the child will be seen in a negative light by the Court. Your statement that the father should consider terminating his parental rights may be seen as failing to encourage a relationship between parent and child. The likelihood of any court allowing him to terminate his parental rights is virtually zero. Unless you have a willing step parent able to take over the responsibility the courts are very loath to deprive the child of a father and a means of support.
    I suggest that you hold him responsible for the financial obligations of being a parent when the child is born. He needs to pay and you need to encourage a relationship between child and father if he is interested and willing to be involved and can behave appropriately.

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  • Am I still liable for medical and dental for my child over age 19 if I keep paying the same amount of child support?

    One child is 19 and the other is 17. In Colorado, the age support ends is 19. Instead of going to court to reduce the support from 2 to 1 child and I keep paying the same amount, am I still liable to continue the medical insurance and expenses not...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    Emancipation occurs and an order for child support terminates when a child attains nineteen years of age, unless the child is then mentally or physically disabled or is still attending high school. If you have two children you will need to file a motion to modify the order at this time or you will have to continue paying the full child support for the remaining child.

    Once your child is emancipated you have no obligation to pay any health insurance premiums for the emancipated child or to cover his/her uninsured health expenses. As a matter of practice many parents pay these expenses anyway, although there is no legal obligation to do so.

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  • Calculations for child support in Colorado

    I am a single parent, with 3 kids, 1 child has a different father, the father is now married, between the both of them they make atleast $7000.00 a month. My income is about 2800.00 a month. For child support calculations, if married, does the spo...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    The Court will not take into account the income of a new spouse when calculating child support. Only the parents are legally liable to support children. Step parents have no obligation and their incomes are not factored in.

    If however the new wife pays regular amounts of money to the husband, then those payments may be considered gift income. Payment of direct expenses such as mortgage payments, cable TV payments etc do not qualify as gift income.

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  • I have never been married before and I just got married. My husband wants to adopt my 9 year old son. We live in Avon CO

    I just got married for the first time. I got pregnant with my 9 year old son when I was only 16. It was realy just a one night stand kind of thing. I real did not even know the guy. He was never put on the birth certificate. He has never seen...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    You would need to file a petition for a step parent adoption. If you cannot locate the biological father the Court may entertain a request to publish the notices. I suggest that you contact an experienced adoption attorney who will be able to guide you through the process. A welfare report will be required.

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  • I was married in Texas, but now my wife lives in Georgia, and I live in Colorado, do we have to file for divorce in Texas?

    She left me and I haven't talked to her in 18 years but we never got divorce, because I could not find her.

    Suzanne’s Answer

    You may be able to obtain a divorce in Colorado. However if your wife has never lived in CO then the CO Court will not have jurisdiction to determine property division and maintenance. You could obtain a divorce in the jurisdiction where your wife resides as well. Since neither of you live in Texas it is unlikely that the Texas Court's would take jurisdiction.

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  • Common Law marriage and alimony?

    I am divorced and will receive alimony from my ex husband for 2 more years. I have been living with my fiance for almost 3 years. Can we be considered comon law married for medical benefit purposes from his employer if I am still receiving alimony?

    Suzanne’s Answer

    If you represent to your fiance's health insurer that you are common law married you will likely trigger an end to your current maintenance/alimony. If you remarry then your maintenance generally terminates. If your ex spouse becomes aware that you have remarried he may have a claim for repayment of all amounts since your common law marriage. You cannot have things both ways.

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  • "Decree, the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Permanent Orders and the Order Reducing Attorneys’ Lien"

    Does that wording mean that the divorce is finalized? The husband filed a motion contesting the amount that he should pay and judge denied it. This is in Colorado and he's still dealing with his attorney and her attorney, this is 6 months later. T...

    Suzanne’s Answer

    If the Court issued a Decree that would be the final order of divorce. Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Permanent Orders set forth the details of the Court's findings and the orders given at the final divorce hearing. An Order reducing Attorney's Lien refers to an order in favor of the party's own attorney for fees that have not yet been paid. Any attorney representing a client has a right to a lien on any assets awarded to their client in the divorce to insure that their fees are paid. The client does have the right to contest the fees claimed which happened in this case. It does look like the Husband lost that battle. You are not specific about the fights that are still going on. These may relate to the enforcement of the orders or collection on the attorney fee judgment and lien. Based on the facts set forth it appear that the divorce itself has been finalized.

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