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John Palmer Waters
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John Waters’s Answers

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  • Can I file an amendment to parenting plan in with uncontested final orders hearing already set re: intro of new relationships?

    I don't necessarily want to alter anything already in the parenting plan...I just want to add the stipulation that we should both wait at least 3 months after the divorce is final to introduce any girlfriend/boyfriend.

    John’s Answer

    Yes, you can; and yes that's a good idea. Children have enough going on with their lives that introducing new partners is very confusing and unsettling on top of school, friends, extracurricular activities. It sounds like you've thought this out for the best interest of your children, which is always a win, win. The judge will be happy with this stipulation. Good luck, John

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  • Can my felony be expunged

    I am 56 years old, when I was 19 yrs old, I stole some tires and received a $500 fine and 3 years probation and a felony. I have never been in any kind of trouble since then and want to know if this can be expunged and what do I need to do?

    John’s Answer

    I'm just trying to think outside the box, here, so bear with me. I agree that you can't seal it, but could you petition the Colorado Supreme Court and/or Gov. Hick to pardon the felony and make it so that it's completely removed from your criminal record? I had a client who had her 2nd degree murder conviction pardoned in Utah, and it's gone. I wasn't her lawyer in Utah, but I believe that she had a hearing in front of the Utah Supreme Court and the pardon was approved with the blessing of the Governor and DA's. Good luck, John

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  • What do you if the other person's finances have changed before the final hearing?

    We don't have a final hearing yet for allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Yet the other party went from unemployed to having a job after the sworn financial statements were written. Is there a way to ask the court to ask th...

    John’s Answer

    Under CRCP 16.2, they have a continuing duty to update their financials; if the party won't then file a Motion to Compel and ask for atty's fees. Good luck, John

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  • CPS asked me if I do a UA and I complied. tested positive but have proof of prescription. they're asking me to do a hair test...

    CPS came to my house after allegations of drug use I voluntarily took the UA I tested positive but I have a prescription which I provided to them. I figured that would clear me but now they're asking that i do a hair follicle Drug test do I have t...

    John’s Answer

    I agree with both responding attorneys. I just would like to add that DHS is a sledge-hammer not an ice pick. They bludgeon their way through families' lives and usually wreck havoc. They're the bull in the china shop. So, what does a parent do when they're caught up in the DHS net? The parent can comply with DHS and do EVERYTHING they want. Or, the parent can fight. If you fight, plead not guilty at the adjudicatory phase of the case and set it for a jury trial. Meanwhile, however, your child cannot remain with you. You must fill out a Relative Affidavit that gives DHS some placement options pending your trial. You sound frustrated, but you DO have options. It's just at this point neither the DHS "machine" nor the Court system will greet you with open arms if you set it for trial. In my experience, even if you lose at trial, the Treatment Plan will be the same with the eventual goal of returning the child home. Finally, I attended a CLE about drug use (medical or recreational), and the experts agreed that as long as you're not under the influence while solely caring for your child then it's okay in most family law courts. However, in juvenile courts where DHS has filed a D&N, drugs are off the table, period. Good luck, John

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  • Can you get a court appointed attorney if your family bails you out and you are indigent

    I have not worked in last 5 years and have filed for Social Security disability

    John’s Answer

    Yes, but remember the Public Defender's Office, while very good, handle a very, high-volume of cases per attorney. My suggestion is that when one's appointed, make an appointment and sit down and introduce yourself OUTSIDE court. Be on time. Take a shower! Dress up. Be proactive. Be polite. Don't leave multiple vm's. Then, once you've established rapport with them, make another appointment to review your discovery together. Stay on top of YOUR case. Then if you have a shot at winning, plead not guilty at your arraignment and fight like hell. Good luck, John

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  • What crimes are felonys?

    Are any of these charges felonys? Reckless endangerment Unlawful possession of controlled substance Assault in 2nd degree Criminal mischief

    John’s Answer

    Yes! If you're being charged for these, please don't talk to the cops and instead consult with an attorney, many of us offer a free consultation. Good luck, John

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  • Do I have to pay spousal?

    My wife and I are in an ongoing divorce. We already had our temporary orders hearing. There was a set amount for me to pay. A couple weeks after the settlement conference for the temp orders my wife moved back in with me. ...

    John’s Answer

    In Colorado, family law regarding property, i.e., spousal support, is argued using the overall umbrella of "what's equitable," or what's fair. So, it would seem that your wife waived support by moving back in with you, right? No. You see if the TO support order was signed off by a judge then you have a legal duty to pay the support. That said, is that fair? No. My advice is get caught up on the spousal support so that you're not in contempt and then keep all your documents showing she moved back in with you and recoup this amount at Permanent Orders. Good luck, John

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  • Have a dismissed misdemeanor charge, am applying for gov't job in another state. How do I respond to this dumb question?

    A couple of years ago I was charged with a second-degree (?), non-drug related misdemeanor in Florida. I completed a PTD program and the charges were dismissed with no conviction. I was recently offered a gov't job in Colorado; the application ask...

    John’s Answer

    You should really consult with an Attorney regarding this. However, please understand, government jobs are much difference than civilian ones. The government has access to ALL your court proceedings, whether or not they've been dismissed as part of a deferred sentence. Even sealed crimes are fair game. So, without knowing you or your exact situation, I would err on the side of caution and reveal everything. Good luck, John

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  • Can my ex husband take our child to a therapist without my written permission?

    I am going through a divorce and do not have custody paperwork signed by the court yet, can my ex husband take our daughter to a therapist without my written permission? He is saying that I am detrimental to her because I have started a new relat...

    John’s Answer

    Yes. Until the Court determines parental decision-making. However, depending how far along you are in the divorce process, you may want to ask for Temporary Orders to address this. Also, recently in Jefferson County (just last week), I had an interesting encounter with a magistrate. He had a relatively light docket and so he made time for an "interim" orders hearing prior to my request for a Temporary Orders hearing. Both sides made Offers of Proof, without cross examination, and then the magistrate awarded my client some parenting time. It was pretty cool. The key to my answer is be creative, but polite with the Court. Ask for a hearing; you may get it. Be prepared with evidence to show your judge and arrive with potential witnesses. Call the clerk and see if your judge has a "free" hour or so to address your ex using his therapist against you. If nothing else, it may damage your ex's credibility at Permanent Orders. Good luck, and happy Easter, John

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  • Temporary Orders

    Kids mother was awarded temporary orders by a magistrate. The mother is abusive to one of the children. I have documents from the counseling center saying that he told the center he was being abused. My attorney didn't give any of that to the ma...

    John’s Answer

    We're sorry. But if you currently have an attorney then the Professional Rules of Conduct for attorneys bar us from giving you legal advice, free or not. The idea of consulting with your attorney and letting them know that you're unhappy with their service is paramount to the integrity of our profession. Whether this attorney is low-fee, flat fee or pro bono, they have an absolute duty to do their best by providing you with their "A" game. That said, I'd confront your attorney, professionally, about what you just posted. Then let them explain their rationale for waiting for a CFI. If their rationale doesn't pass the "smell test" then you have to decide whether to fire them and represent yourself as a pro se litigant or maybe borrow some money from a relative or credit union and hire a "good" attorney. Good luck, John

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