How Technology Can Help With Long-Distance Caregiving

 The following is a guest post by Marie Villeza of ElderImpact.org. Her mission is to empower seniors against ageism by providing information they need to keep control of their own lives. Marie developed ElderImpact.org to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.

The famous Henry Ford once said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” When the world and its technologies move so fast, we struggle to keep up — sometimes we resist it — but our life can be easier if we embrace the changes of time’s innovations and learn to use them. The modern world has certainly made long-distance communication more convenient, and if you are care for an elderly parent from far away, you may have some help. Read More »

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Get Free Legal Advice Oct. 25

I am looking forward to taking part in Jefferson County’s National Pro Bono Day event on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Golden. The event is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and I will be volunteering from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Read More »

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Financial Exploitation of the Elderly: Can You Do the Math?

The following is a guest post by Pamela D. Wilson, CSA, MS, BS/BA, CG. Pamela is an advocate for family and professional caregivers.  She is a recognized expert in the areas of advocacy, caregiving, care navigation, aging parents, family and professional caregiver relationships and long term care. An industry leader, Pamela desires to change the common belief that minimum standards of care are acceptable. To learn more about Pamela and her work, visit PamelaDWilson.com.

Financial Exploitation of the Elderly - Pamela Wilson - Andersen Law PCI recently received a letter with an AARP logo telling me that I may have sewer line issues and that I should contact a particular company to have an investigation completed or I might be personally liable for damage to my sewer line and to the homes of my neighbors. I took a moment and was able to review a logical process in my mind that confirmed that my house is on a well. If there is a well then there is no sewer line. If there is an issue, it would be with my septic tank not my sewer line. If there is no sewer line then there is no potential for damage or to the homes of my neighbors, who also, by the way, have wells and septic systems.  Read More »

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Attend Beth’s BNI Presentation Oct. 4

I will be giving a presentation to the Golden chapter of BNI — Business Networking International — on Wednesday, Oct. 4. BNI logo

I invite you — friends, clients, business associates and colleagues — to please support me by attending! Read More »

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Beth Joins Team Training Legal Personnel on Unbundled Legal Services

In early September, I attended training for unbundled legal services trainers. I am so excited to be one of the new trainers in this area of the law!

In a conference room in our beautiful Supreme Court building, the Ralph Carr Judicial Center in downtown Denver, I met with three judges, a representative from the Colorado Bar Association and six other attorneys who practice unbundled legal services. Read More »

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Probation Litigation: Guardians, Conservators and Estate Issues

There is a common observance among lawyers: In family law, the parents fight over the children; in elder law, the children fight over the parents.

Cute girl blowing alphabet blocks while family looking at it in house

Sadly, this is often true and can lead to costly litigation. What starts out as a dispute among siblings as to whether a parent should reside with one of them can end up being a court case. When that happens, our firm is there to represent a party who wants to make sure his or her interests are protected. Read More »

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Why It’s Important To Talk End-Of-Life Before An Emergency

8.17.17.EndOfLife.Andersen.blog (1)The following is a guest post by Fran Myers who started a nonprofit called Advance Care Advocate to meet the needs of those without a health care advocate. She coaches families, acts as an agent (primary or secondary) and speaks for groups, organizations and churches. 

A teen I know shared that when her dad died suddenly, no one knew how to talk with her about it. Her friends didn’t know what to say. Her story highlights the fact that we really don’t do well at communicating about this phase of the life cycle no matter how old we are and how hurtful that is. Read More »

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Survey: Court Access, Fairness High in Jeffco

Thanks to a grant that Colorado was one of just seven states to receive, we are able to learn more about how citizens without legal representation feel about access and fairness in the courts, helping us determine how and where we can improve.

The Access Fairness 2017 Survey Report for the Colorado 1st Judicial District, based on 222 exit surveys completed at the Jefferson County Courthouse on June 26, 2017, shows that 80 percent of respondents feel that the courts are accessible, while 71 percent said they believed they were treated fairly. Read More »

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12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: THE BASICS – Step 3 – Complete Your Sworn Financial Statement, Disclosures, Parenting Classes

DIVORCE WALK THROUGH: THE BASICS

Each month, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

The following is a roadmap with the basics for 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. The intent is to walk you through the process a simple step at a time.

(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)

 And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me at 720-922-3880 or email beth@andersenlawpc.com with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.

Here is where the year will take us:

1 – serving and filing a petition for dissolution

2 – responding to the petition

3 – sworn financial statement, disclosures, and parenting classes

4 – initial status conference

5 – discovery and depositions

6 – professionals:  CFI, PRE, vocational evaluator, appraisals

7 – motions to compel and telephone conferences

8 – temporary orders

9 – mediation

10 – parenting plans and separation agreements

11 – witnesses, pretrial deadlines and permanent orders

12 – QDROs and other post decree issues

Step 3: HOW TO COMPLETE YOUR SWORN FINANCIAL STATEMENT, DISCLOSURES, AND PARENTING CLASSES

PREAMBLE AND WARNING: (NOTE: If you are the kind of person who would like to be on the hot seat for a status conference where the judge scolds you for not doing your disclosures, feel free to skip this Preamble and Warning.)

By divorcing, your spouse and you have invited the Colorado government and the courts in your county into the most private and precious aspects of your life.

Divorce is NOT something you want to drag out if you can avoid it.

My suggestion is that you complete the next three steps as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. You do not want to be the person missing deadlines and playing catch up. I have yet to see a case where the party who fell behind on these deadlines did not suffer for it in some way.

Get it done and get it done now.

Think of it as if you are studying for finals, preparing for a major business deadline, setting off to scale a mountain or training for an athletic event. Train hard and remember this too shall pass.

  • Work on this five days a week or extra time on weekends.
  • I suggest half an hour a day until it is done.

Good news if you are broke: You have less to do! (Well, unless you have 20 credit cards to track down.)Good news if you have some spare cash: You can pay someone to help you do this.

Just remember, ultimately someone needs to get all this information on the table. It is best, cheapest and fastest if that person is you. And that way YOU become the expert and the one ahead of the game. Do NOT wait for your spouse to do it. Just do it.

  1. DO A ROUGH DRAFT OF YOUR SWORN FINANCIAL STATEMENT

You need to complete two documents to get this done: the SWORN FINANCIAL STATEMENT (SFS) JDF 1111 and the SUPPORTING SCHEDULE JDF 1111ssfinancial statement and disclosures

The Supporting Schedule JDF 1111ss is part of the SFS JDF 1111 identifying separate property and other property such as investment and retirement accounts. I am not sure why they are not just merged into one document but so be it. For convenience, going forward, I will refer to them collectively as the SFS unless I am pointing out something specific about the Supporting Schedule.

People often ask me if they need to fill out the SFS for just themselves or if they need to include their spouse too. The short answer is that you need to fill it out for just yourself and your kids who would be living with you. The exception is that when you are talking about assets and debt, you need to include your spouse/partner’s assets and debt.”

Here is a way to think about it: you want to know your BUDGET for your NEW HOUSEHOLD BY YOURSELF because that is how the court will see if anyone needs maintenance or child support. But you need to INVENTORY EVERYTHING from both parties to decide how to divide it up.”

  • “For “SALARY” (support, stipends, etc.) AND “SPENDING” (what you are paid and pay, what you get in and give out, income and outgo, earnings and expenses, all money coming into your household and going out of your household, it is only the children and you “SEPARATELY” as a “SINGLE” mother “ STARTING” your new life.  This is because you need to calculate your expenses and to see if your income will cover them going forward.  
  • “For everything you “OWN” and “OWE”— assets and debt, as “OURS: ONE and the OTHER” jointly or together “OVER” your lifetimes put both your husband and you in your “OLD” life (married life) which you are now dividing.  He will be P for petitioner and you will be R for respondent and things owned together are J for joint.  This is for the division of property and they need to look at everything in order to divide it.  

As you may have guessed, it makes good sense to have an attorney look over the SFS before you file it. Remember, it is a sworn statement and you may be cross-examined about it.

COMPILE YOUR FINANCIALS

JDF 1125 is my FAVORITE FORM.

This form links in everything you need to provide as part of your mandatory disclosures:

  1. The SFS mentioned above
  2. Tax Returns for the last three years
  3. Personal financial statements, for example, loan applications
  4. Business financial statements for the past three years. You only need these if you have YOUR OWN business. If you never did this, time to hire a bookkeeper and get it done right! I can give great referrals for this.
  5. Real estate documents, including your lease, mortgage documents and closing documents
  6. Personal debt
  7. Investments
  8. Employment benefits
  9. Retirement plans
  10. Bank and financial accounts
  11. Income documentation
  12. Child care documentation for child care related to work or education
  13. Insurance records
  14. Extraordinary children’s expenses such as regular medical or extracurricular expenses to be shared
  15. Other

Put these together. If you hit a roadblock and cannot get a document, explain why. This will help in following up later. For example, if you cannot get into the retirement account because the other party has the password, write this down. Ask for the password or at least a copy due to your inability to get into the account. You can also do this as part of Discovery or a Motion to Compel.

I strongly urge you to have a laptop, tablet or smartphone to access these documents regularly. Get online savvy. This will keep you in control of the critical data in divorce and make you the expert. You will use this later in mediation.

  1. UPDATE YOUR SFS

Now that you have all your documents together, use this information to update your SFS. If there is something you do not know, add “unknown.” This is early in the litigation and you will get more information over time.

Get the SFS notarized and do not forget the JDF 1111ss supplemental schedule form.

  1. SERVE FINANCIALS; SERVE AND FILE THE SFS AND CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE

The financials are served on the other party in person or by mail. Sometimes they will agree to email service but you must prove they agreed to this. This is NOT filed with the court. The court does not want to hold onto everyone’s financial information.

Be sure to keep an identical copy for yourself so you can prove what you gave the other person.

Once you served the financials on the other party, fill out the JDF 1104 certificate of compliance.

Serve the SFS and Certificate of Compliance (JDF 1111, JDF 1111ss and JDF 1104) on the other party by mail or in person.

Then fill out the Certificate of Service and make yourself a copy. File the original SFS and Certificate of Compliance with the court. Make sure you get your copies stamped “filed” by the court to prove you filed it. Courts lose things. You need proof you filed the Response or it is their word against yours that you did. This advice goes for EVERY pleading you file.

Good job! By completing ALL your paperwork, one of the most burdensome pieces of the divorce process is behind you.

5. PARENTING CLASS

If you have minor children together, you need to take the Parenting After Divorce class. There is a list of classes on the website. You may attend the class online and in person. The Certificate of Completion of the parenting class must be obtained at the end of the class, served on the other person by hand or by mail (or email if they agree to this in writing) and filed with the court. This is required as part of the divorce.

Next month: Step Four: Initial Status Conference

If you need help getting through all the steps of your own divorce, contact Andersen Law PC today. Email beth@andersenlawpc.com or call 720-922-3880.

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How to Revive a Judgment

In many cases, a divorce can end with you receiving a judgment against your ex-spouse for spousal maintenance (alimony). However, your judgment has an expiration date. County court judgments expire and are unenforceable six years from the date of the judgment, while district court judgments expire and are unenforceable 20 years from the date of the judgment. Sometimes, after you’ve attempted the various collection processes, you still have money owed to you with the expiration date approaching. If you revive your judgment, your deadline to collect the judgment starts all over again, and you can continue your collection process.  Read More »

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