I signed a lettter that stated visitation for my daughter back in 07 Only because i was told she would be there when i picked her up and she was not they said if i didnt sign it i could not have her back and i didnt want to leave the state and go back home without her.
In most cases, no. They are considered to be hearsay and are inadmissible under the Colorado Rules of Evidence. The judge and the opposing attorney want to see and hear the testimony of the person. You say that YOU signed a letter regarding visitation back in 2007 for some reason that I do not quite understand. It sounds like you might have signed the letter under duress, coercion, or threats. So, someone might be trying to use the letter against you as a prior inconsistent statement - which they can TRY to do. You should really consult an attorney about the specifics for assistance.
No document relating to child custody or support (even if notarized) is binding on the Court. The judge is required to determine what arrangement is in the best interest of the child. The judge will enter orders on this basis regardless of what letters the parties have written. The judge is not even bound by an ageement of the parties if the judge feels it is not in the children's interest (although the judge will usually give great weight to the wishes of the parties if they agree).
It will be persuasive, although not binding, for the court to hear how visitation has been handled over the past 5 years. Ultimately, however, the judge will take a fresh look at what is in the child's best interest.
What you need is a court order establishing parental rights and responsibilities. Without a judge's signature, you really have nothing binding and each of you is always at risk for the other parent to simply pick up the child and take off with them at any time. You need to get into court and, if your daughter is important to you, you need an experienced attorney to represent you.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
It's not clear why you signed the letter in 07, because there should be court orderson parenting time. At this point, the court will focus on the best interests of your daughter. The letter may or may not be introduced in court. Technically it is hearsay but there are exceptions to that rule, and in family court the rules are sometimes relaxed.
You should get an experienced family law lawyer to help you. Colorado favors having both parents involved with their children and applies the best interests standard.
This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is advisable to consult with an attorney with full disclosure of relevant facts for a comprehensive leagl opinion.
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