The problem here is with the court proceeding. If mom goes to court with a motion for determination of parental rights, then mother can get a temporary order handling custody, parenting time and child support. If the man hits her, call 911 immediately.
Colorado law is that the police must arrest someone who commits domestic violence. if the local police refuse to enforce the law, call the state patrol and see if they will act. ALSO you can write a letter (not a phone call or an email) to every member of the town council reporting that the town's police department is apparently unwilling to protect women in town and is ignoring the state law on domestic violence. You will get back all kinds of assurances that the police are doing their job, but you might see a little better performance as well.
If the mother ended up in the hospital due to an assault by the boyfriend, that fact will probably cause the court to cut off or severely limit his parenting time.
Mother needs to see a lawyer as soon as possible.
Like many attorneys we will sit down and review your situation with you without charge.
Your best bet is to find a good lawyer who provides advice on this kind of issue on a regular basis and review your specific facts; the lawyer will be able to give you an analysis of the law and your options.
By the way, some attorneys sell "unbundled" or "limited" legal services where you pay for just what you need and can afford. For example, some attorneys will prepare letters for you to sign, legal documents, or sell the paperwork for the court filings; then you can proceed on your own, but knowing that your paperwork is correct and having a road map as to how to proceed. Or who will attend a hearing for a flat fee even if they are not handling the whole case. Neighborhood Law Office is such a firm.
At Neighborhood Law Office we never charge for an initial consultation, and at that meeting we can go through your specific facts and give you options. Please call us anytime for an appointment.
Neighborhood Law Office
7225 E. Hampden Ave.
Denver, CO 80224
NOTICEâ€” This answer is based upon a partial understanding of the facts and may not be relied upon as legal advice. It does not create an attorney client relationship between the writer and the attorney. It is provided for general information. You should always consult an attorney about your important legal rights.
Unless the father has done something to harm the child (other than not letting the mother see the child), the police have no authority to remove the child from his care. He is the child's father and has the same legal rights as a parent as does your niece, and the fact that he has been accused of domestic violence does not automatically take those rights away from him. Your niece needs to file a parental responsibilities action, if she is not currently involved in a Dependency and Neglect action.
I do not understand the part of your question about her having a lawyer through Alamosa County. The only times a court appoints a lawyer to represent someone is if the party is indigent and either: (1) is accused of a crime, in which case the appointed lawyer only represents that person to defend the criminal case; (2) is a party to a Dependency and Neglect (child protection) case brought by the County, in which case child custody will be determined as part of that Dependency and Neglect action, and her lawyer should be pursuing custody orders in that case; or (3) the person is accused of contempt of court and facing a possible jail sentence for contempt, in which case the appointed lawyer represents the person only in defending against the contempt claim.
Your niece needs to make an appointment to see a competent family law attorney, and bring with her copies of all papers she has related to this situation, so she can receive good advice from someone who understands parental responsibilities cases.
Your question should be posted under family law or child custody. I will do that for you so that the experts in that specific field can help you.
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