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Brenda Storey

Brenda Storey’s Answers

82 total


  • 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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  • Can the magistrate order a polygraph examination covering the most relevant facts around domestic violence and child abuse?

    Custody & domestic violence case, my ex has been formally charged but I very naively fell for his promises to change and withdrew my cooperation from the DA's case. I also pled with our current magistrate to dismiss the civil permanent protective...

    Brenda’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Rather than tell you what you can't do, I will tell you what you can and should do. You need to get a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator appointed in your case, and it needs to be one with expertise in initimate partner violence. These evaluations are very thorough, and they "get it." Their reliability is much greater than a polygraph, and admissible in evidence. Plus, a Court can order their appointment. An added bonus is that in addition to them investigating all the issues that impact your child(ren), specifically including domestic violence, they can make recommendations to the Court as to what tools and treatments will best serve your children, be it treatment of dad, or tools for the children to speak out and also not repeat the cycle. Polygraphs can't do that. Additionally, judicial officers are not well trained in what to do with domestic violence once proven. The Parental Responsibilities Evaluator is best suited to make recommendations as to what parenting time, if any, is best for the children, and what safeguards might be needed for that parenting time. A Polygraph cannot do that. Good luck to you!

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  • As the biological father of my son would I be able to, legally, take my son to another country if I decided to visit some place?

    My wife left the country and took her 11 year old daughter but left our three-year-old son with me. I do not believe that she is coming back to the United States. There has not been any talk on custody of our son. As far as I am concerned, she has...

    Brenda’s Answer

    With no orders in place, or case filed, there is nothing legally that keeps you from traveling with your son to visit other countries. However, logistics could be your problem. Do you have a passport for him already? If not, you need to follow the specific steps for trying to obtain the passport without the other parent's presence and/or participation. This is not a quick or easy process. Additionally, the carrier you use could ask for proof of the other parent's permission for you to travel outside the country before allowing boarding. The form for this can be found on the website of the State Department. That website may have permissible exclusions that cover your facts, so read very carefully.

    If you decide to file a legal action, once filed and while the case is pending, neither parent can travel out of country, or even out of state, without the other parent's agreement or court order.

    My best advice that I can give to you is to keep notes as to specific events, while fresh, such as when she notified you she was leaving the country, how, what she said about care of your son, what she told your son, what efforts she has made since leaving to have contact with him, etc.

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  • Can I use a Denver lawyer or am I required to find a lawyer in Arizona?

    Final divorce decree filed in Yuma, Arizona of 2013 without a QDRO which my lawyer should have included. I am now needing to obtain the QDRO after the fact. I now live in Colorado and my ex-husband resides in San Felip, Baja California, Mexico.

    Brenda’s Answer

    Your divorce case, and property division therein, remain in Arizona. An Arizona lawyer in the town where the courthouse is would be your best bet, as most likely to understand the local practices and tendencies of the judicial officers when seeking this kind of order three (3) years after the Decree entered.

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  • The ex claims before we go back to court, there will have to be a child safety investigation. Is this true? Why? Costs?

    Divorce final on Feb 25th. Co-habitating with the ex and kids in Arapahoe County.

    Brenda’s Answer

    Generally, a child safety investigation is not required in divorce cases - pre- or post-decree. The answer, therefore, could be in the current orders or agreement that underlies your Divorce Decree. Was such an investigation ordered to be done before any increases/changes? You indicate you are living with your ex and the children post-divorce, so were there terms placed in the current order that upon you moving out you must have a child safely investigation before you have time with the children alone and at your own place? If there are no such orders in place, and you have court ordered parenting time with your children under the current orders with no conditions, then no need to spend time on this assertion. If, however, you are seeking a modification, which would seem to be the referenced "going back to court," perhaps your former spouse is suggesting no agreement will be reached until such an investigation is completed. These types of investigations can be ordered, and they range from checking to see if it is child-proof to a full blown Investigation as to the children's best interests. Good luck to you!

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  • How do I go about getting full custody, the right to decide who she goes to upon my death, and striping him of his rights?

    In 2011 I had a girl with my then boyfriend. He signed the birth certificate, babysat a couple of times and ditched us saying she wasn't his. Three years later a paternity test was done and we now receive $53 (in total) between him and his social ...

    Brenda’s Answer

    Your question has many levels. It is not easy to strip a parent of his rights. A Court addressing Adjudication of Parental Rights does not enter such orders. What you seem to be seeking is a termination of his parental rights, and what you allege is not enough to be awarded such. You can be awarded primary parental responsibility and decision-making, which is based upon the child's best interests and requires the court to look into many factors, specifically including his track record of lack of consistent involvement. Even if you expressed your desire as to where she would be placed upon your death, if she is still a minor upon that happening your stated desire is not the end-all. Rather, best interests of the child at that time still govern. An absent dad who is a virtual stranger really does not seem to be a good candidate for placement of a child upon the mother's death.

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