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Barbara Lynn Ornelas

Barbara Ornelas’s Answers

25 total

  • Can I, a British citizen, married in Germany to a German citizen, obtain a divorce in the United States?

    I want to get divorced asap, as I wish to remarry an American citizen. Is it possible to be divorced in Colorado, although i am not an American? A german divorce takes too long.

    Barbara’s Answer

    As long as you meet the jurisdictional requirements for Colorado, you may get divorced in Colorado. You and/or your spouse must have been domiciled in Colorado for at least 91 days prior to the filing of your action. "Domiciled" means that this is your permanent home; it is where you live and to where you intend to return.

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  • My husband just took the kids to a movie. If I pack some things and leave, do I lose my parental rights? I am very unhappy.

    Been married 11 years. 2 children. No violence. Would I still be allowed in the house? Would I be considered a mother who left her children?

    Barbara’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues that you would not lose your parental rights if you just left right now. However, the fact that you left your children behind because you were 'unhappy' would not ultimately fare well for you when it comes to your time with your children. Make an appointment to talk to an attorney as soon as possible so that you can have good, solid information about your choices and so that you can make a plan that will provide the best solution for you and your children. I also suggest that you contact a good therapist. You are going to be making some very important decisions with long-lasting impact. It will be really helpful for you to have the tools to make good decisions in light of your obvious distress. I wish you well!

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  • How do I serve court papers in Germany?

    I have petitioned to change my 5 yr old's name to be changed. Her father lives in Germany (German citizen). The JeffCo district court clerk told me I absolutely have to have him served and I have to show I tried three times to find him. I have his...

    Barbara’s Answer

    In order to properly serve documents in Germany, you must follow the provisions of the "Hague Service Convention" which is short for The Convention of 15 November 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. In Germany, you would need to be careful to use the Central Authority in the proper "state" called "Lander". The service is very specialized and could be difficult to accomplish. I suggest you use an attorney who practices in this area or a specialized international service of process company.

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  • How can I know what would be a good child support?

    Four children, I have been home with the children since they were born. Today they are between 4 and 10. He earns $300,000, and I have not worked since the children came. He wants the children just every second weekend for one overnight, but he...

    Barbara’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with Mr. Torbenson, but I would like to add that in using the child support worksheet, you should expect that the Court would "impute" income to you. What "impute" means is that even though you are not working, for purposes of calculating child support, the Court will say you are capable of making a certain income based upon your training, education and experience, and that income will be used for you in calculating child support. Since you have not worked for at least the last ten years, it is likely that the Court would "impute" minimum wage to you which is currently $8/hour or $1,387 per month.

    So in the child support worksheet, use his monthly income of $25,000 for Dad and $1387 per month for you. (I realize that it is likely to make little or no difference in the amount of child support due to you since your income is so low compared to his, but I also think it is important for you to understand that the Court will expect both of you to have an 'income' to support your children.)

    In the lower part of the child support worksheet, you will need to include any expenses which are specific to your family. Child care expense is NOT included unless it is actually being incurred -- so if income is imputed to you, that does NOT mean that child care is 'imputed' as well.

    One other part of the worksheet which is commonly misunderstood is "extraordinary other expenses". This would include necessary tutors, private school tuition and the like.

    Based on the disparity of your incomes, it is likely that you could receive at least temporary attorney's fees from your husband if there are no savings accounts or other resources available to you for you to obtain money for an attorney to help you. "Temporary attorney's fees" should be enough money to get you started into your case. I suggest you have an attorney to help you with this because your financial situation might be difficult to work through.

    You should not feel trapped due to finances. You should be able to receive enough money to support yourself and the children to help you get on your feet. I wish you well!

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  • If maintenance is waived in our separation agreement, can my spouse request money from me as "child support" instead?

    My wife has been under employed for a few years. Now she is asking me for money. Our separation agreement has specifically waived the right for either of us to request spousal maintenance. Can she effectively receive money from me if requested ...

    Barbara’s Answer

    I think perhaps there is some confusion regarding the difference between maintenance and child support. Maintenance is money paid to a former spouse for the support OF THE FORMER SPOUSE. Child support is money paid to a former spouse or other parent of your child for the support OF THE CHILD. Both parents of children are expected to support their children. Your spouse's contribution comes in the form of directly providing food, shelter, clothing, and other necessities for the children. Your contribution comes in the form of child support. Unlike child support, maintenance is not for the support of the children, but assistance to support your former spouse. So even though your former spouse waived maintenance (support for him or herself), you still owe a duty of support for your children. I hope this helps!

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  • Do I have any rights or say in my visitation schedule?

    I am 14. I visit my dad 6 weeks out of the summer, a week long visit in the fall/spring, every other Thanksgiving, a split Christmas break schedule and every spring break. I hate this schedule. I've tried to talk to my dad and he shuts down. I a...

    Barbara’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Littman that your Mom would have to file a motion to modify parenting time and that a Child and Family Investigator would be an excellent resource to get your voice heard. I commend you for all of your hard work! You are certainly a child of whom any parent would be very proud! Try not to get discouraged! I suggest that you try to get your Dad to listen to your concerns by having another adult whom your Dad knows and respects talk to him WITH you. It could be your school counselor, a friend of the family, your counselor (if you are lucky enough to have one -- or you could ask to see a counselor), or a grandparent. Keep trying to get your Dad to understand that it is NOT that you don't love him or that you don't want to see him -- but rather that these activities are things which are important and valuable to you. I wish you all the best!

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  • I had a consultation with a male lawyer who obviously does not like women. In divorce should women have women lawyers?

    Surprised by my first consultation.

    Barbara’s Answer

    I realize that you have several answers already, but I wanted to respond to you as a woman attorney. I don't think it makes any difference whether you have a man or woman attorney. I know both male and female attorneys who work very zealously for their clients. If the person with whom you met was prejudiced and/or disrespectful of you, you need to keep looking. I agree totally with my colleagues that what is most important is that you are comfortable with and confident in the person you select to represent you. I wish you well!

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  • After a allocation of parental rights is filled how should the response be made?

    About a month ago me and the mother of my child sat down and did a parental plan which im now finding out she did not file. Im now finding out she filled for 100% custody and child support. how should i respond to the petition in court so things w...

    Barbara’s Answer

    I agree with Mr. Giel, but I would like to add that if you and the mother of your child wrote down and signed a parenting plan which you still believe is in the best interests of your child, make sure that you give a copy of your agreement to the court. Whatever you do, DO NOT IGNORE the petition. You MUST respond or Orders may enter WITHOUT your participation which may seriously affect your relationship with your child. If you can hire an attorney, do it! At the very least confer with an family attorney in your community. I wish you well...

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  • I am getting a divorce my husband and I own a bar and grill each of us own 25% and his parents own 50% they are trying to buy me

    Out what should I base the amount off of?

    Barbara’s Answer

    You have not indicated whether your interest is marital or separate. If your interest is your 'separate' property (if owned by you prior to your marriage, if you inherited it, or if it was a gift to you), it will be treated differently than if you acquired your interest during the marriage with marital property. The bar and grill will most likely need to be valued by a certified valuation analyst. There are various ways to value a business, and when a minority interest is being valued, there may also be certain assumptions which apply to the value of the business. If you do not have the resources to do a full-blown valuation, you might consult with a valuation analyst to at least get a general idea of the value. In looking at the value of your interest in the bar and grill, don't forget that your husband's interest (if he acquired it during the marriage) is a marital asset as well.

    In your divorce, the marital interest would be divided equitably (what's fair). If your interest is separate, in the divorce, it would only be the increase in value that is divided.

    The answer to your question can be very complicated. I suggest that you get the opinion of a local attorney and/or an accountant or certified valuation analyst.

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  • What the best interest of a child standards in Colorado?

    I have heard that there are 17 but found a list of 11. Can someone list what they are and how many factors are the correct number?

    Barbara’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    For the best interests of the child regarding parenting time, the court considers the following factors PLUS any other relevant factor:
    1. The wishes of the child's parents as to parenting time;
    2. The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule;
    3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
    4. The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
    5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time;
    6. The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party;
    7. Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;
    8. The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time;
    9. Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect under section 18-6-401, C.R.S., or under the law of any state, which factor shall be supported by credible evidence;
    10. Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of domestic violence, which factor shall be supported by a preponderance of the evidence;
    11. The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.

    For Decision-making, the court also considers:
    1. Credible evidence of the ability of the parties to cooperate and to make decisions jointly;
    2. Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support that would indicate an ability as mutual decision makers to provide a positive and nourishing relationship with the child;
    3. Whether an allocation of mutual decision-making responsibility on any one or a number of issues will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each of the parties; and
    4. Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect.

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