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Brenda Storey

Brenda Storey’s Answers

87 total


  • How do I stop a mother with bi-polar mental disorder from having custody of my daughter?

    My daughter is 11, for the last 10 years I have been present in order keep the peace as much as possible. We have a total of three kids, I have always tried to insert myself to keep the the kids from feeling her outbursts. My two sons are older, 1...

    Brenda’s Answer

    I am so sorry. Parental Responsibilities Evaluators are mental health experts who specialize in children of divorce, child psychology, human development and family studies. They each also have other areas in which they are experts, such as in substance abuse or personality disorders. This is the key to your children's best chance at success despite their mother's mental health challenges. These experts make recommendations for the parties, as well as the court. Judges are not trained in these areas, and the expert testimony is crucial for the court to understand the issues and how to best protect the children. An added benefit of such expert is they make recommendations as to tools and interventions needed for each of the parties and the children. This could be very useful for your struggling 13 year old. Good luck to you.

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  • Divorcing after 15 month marriage. Can she get maintenance/support awarded to her?

    We were married for 15 months. No kids together, no real estate together, no stocks/bonds or pensions etc, no misc assets. We never even lived together. I filed divorce, we attended the divorce orientation, but didn't agree because now she is ...

    Brenda’s Answer

    While there are no guarantees, I think you have viable arguments to successfully win against a maintenance claim. It is a very short term marriage, and you two never even lived together. Other relevant facts include whether you supported her financially even though not living together, as well as her age and health. This is one where a lawyer would help, for mediation as well as trial if settlement is not reached. Good luck to you.

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  • My wife and I are getting a divorce, she's waiting on her green card status and refused to sign some forms.

    My wife and I are getting a divorce, I told her I would hold on to the signed divorce papers until her green card status comes in. She doesn't true I won't file them and refused to sign anything but the separation agreement. How valuable is only h...

    Brenda’s Answer

    Your wife does not have to sign a thing for you to file for divorce. If she has signed a separation agreement, you need only attach that to the petition with very specific language about agreement having been reached, file a case information sheet with the petitioner, get a summons issued by the clerk, and have your wife served. Good luck to you!

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  • Can I modify a parenting agreement if one parent moves out of town?

    I have a parenting agreement from a divorce 8 years ago. 50/50 parenting time (which the mom has already compromised year after year by not being present 4-6 months/year). After checking out for 4 months already this calendar year, she moved to a...

    Brenda’s Answer

    Your facts suggest that you have good grounds to modify, but your strongest facts for modification are that the other parent has not been present 4-6 months per year since the 50-50 parenting time order entered. I am not one to say this in my AVVO responses, but will here -you really need a lawyer to assist you, to help you fine tune your argument and relevant facts, and give your argument the best chance at success. I am seeing so may potential clients who tried to go it alone, not do well, and then want to hire me to fix it after the fact. It is "easier" to get it right the first time, as new facts are needed for a new modification action if you are not successful on your own this time. Good luck to you!

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  • My 16 yr old decided she would not go back to the other parent due to conflict.

    Other parent has majority parenting time and sole decision making on school and extra-curricular activities and collect child support per order. What can I do about this? Other parent wants the court to decide and not my child since she has made s...

    Brenda’s Answer

    I will be direct. Are you able to get your 16 year old to go to school? To mind you about curfew? If not, her being in your primary care is probably not in her best interests. But if you are able to get her to go to school, mind curfew, and comply with other rules you have, then you can get your 16 year old to return to the other parent. You are in violation of the court orders, and are responsible for compliance. If there are valid reasons for your child to refuse to return, rising to the level of endangerment, you need to file the proper motion with the Court. If it does not rise to that level, but you desire a change, you need to file a motion for modification but comply with the current order unless and until a modification is granted by court order. Children never get to decide. They are children, and the parents are the adults. If the parents cannot agree as to what is best for the child, the court decides, not the child. You cannot enroll the child in school without the other parent's consent and, in fact, with that parent having sole decision-making as to school you would be in direct violation of orders there as well. You are treading on dangerous ground and will likely worsen your odds of getting more time with this child if you take the unilateral steps you are considering in your questions, or similar ones. Take the proper legal steps and comply with all current orders.

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  • Is there legal action I can take against someone purposefully not serving me court papers?

    The mother of my child keeps filing motions against me to take my time and decision making with my son. On these motions she files she will leave one number off my address or claim that she hand delivers them to me and I never receive them until i...

    Brenda’s Answer

    You need to advise the court immediately that you have not been receiving copies. With your filing to the Court, attach copies of anything that has the wrong address. Ask the Court for assistance in preventing this behavior in the future, as well vacate any orders from the prior hearings for which you had no notice. Good luck to you!

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  • When are Student Loans incurred before marriage considered martial debt?

    We've been married for 3 short years. I incurred student loans before marriage to get an engineering degree ($23,000). This degree has resulted in some very obvious monetary gains and benefits to the entire household. Due to increased earning capa...

    Brenda’s Answer

    The good news is that under Colorado, degrees are not marital property. The bad news is that your premarital student loans are just that. Your focus should not be the loan, but rather your contributions to the acquisition of the marital estate have greatly exceeded her. As a result, the argument is that it is equitable that you receive a greater share of the marital estate. This is an even stronger argument given the short length of your marriage. Good luck to you!

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  • Do I have to pay for 100% of child care costs after a divorce?

    My wife and i are getting divorced and have been working through the child support and alimony finances. So far, we have been very amicable and are working well together to come up with numbers that are agreeable to both of us. One sticking poin...

    Brenda’s Answer

    Our child support statute looks to have the parties share, in proportion to incomes, the cost of work-related child care. Courts often put that amount right into the child support calculation, requiring one party to advance the entire cost, but the other contributes his/her share in the bottom line number. I prefer to have it outside the worksheet, as the amount changes, usually decreases as the child gets older, and ultimately stops. Each of those events would require a modification of the resulting monthly child support. However, if it is paid outside the worksheet, each pays the respective share right to the provider, and as it changes the payments simply change, not the child support between the parties. This is attractive for what you describe, as day care will not start until she has a job, and percentages of income will be based upon what income she is earning. Good luck!

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  • I need to know what my responsibility is on a divorce when we were not married legally.

    My children married us and I have worked and lived out of town for over 12 years. My wife works and I have not been at home for over 3 years. My wife that is a paralegal states that the law in Colorado is that I have to pay her alimony for the n...

    Brenda’s Answer

    Based upon the wording of your question, it does seem that you are married legally, as your post suggests you and your wife have held yourselves out as husband and wife. Colorado recognizes common law marriage, and you seem to fall within that. There are relevant factors that should be explored before jumping to this conclusion, such as whether you have filed your taxes under married status and as of when.

    Common law marriage is the same as any marriage, meaning that all issues are addressed and a divorce is required. Property division, debt division, maintenance and attorney's fees seem to be the issues for your divorce. All property and debt acquired from the date you were married (which would be the date your children married you two per your post) to the date you are divorced in the future is marital by our statutory definition, with a few legal exceptions. The Court is to equally divide this marital estate, which requires consideration of many facts. Maintenance is based upon various factors as well, such as each party's respective income and standard of living enjoyed during your marriage. This is one where I do think meeting with an attorney would be your best avenue, so your specific facts, risks, and rights can be explored after further discussing all relevant facts. Good luck to you!

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