Mothers’ Rights, Fathers’ Rights — What’s Right?

I am sure there are some firms who, starting back in the days of Kramer v. Kramer, wanted to protect fathers. What to Know Before Seeking a "Father's Rights" Law Firm - Andersen Law PC Beth Andersen

However, I personally think that several firms called themselves “fathers’ rights” as a marketing device because the father is usually the higher breadwinner.

Not every client is satisfied by the big firm who advertises on sports radio proclaiming fathers’ rights. I handle MANY cases that came from the so-called fathers’ rights firms who charged outrageously high fees, and then the clients were tapped out and weren’t even divorced yet. The label did them no good. Continue reading “Mothers’ Rights, Fathers’ Rights — What’s Right?”

What To Do When Your Ex Won’t Let You See Your Child

When a parent won’t allow another parent to see their child in accordance with a parenting plan or custody arrangement, often the injured party doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately, there are some ways to challenge another parent not allowing you to see your child or children.

Both parents are required to comply with a court entered parenting plan. Colorado statute 14-10-129.5 provides a process and potential sanctions against a parent not adhering to the parenting plan. Parenting Time. Andersen Law-3

The Court’s Process

Whether the other parent is not following the parenting plan or he or she is withholding contact with your child completely, you should file a motion with the court that states that the other parent is not complying with a parenting plan, and include with it possible sanctions the court can impose. The court then has 35 days to:

  • Deny the motion if the complaint doesn’t arise to a real claim to act on;
  • Schedule a hearing as quick as possible to hear from both parties; or
  • Require the parties to seek mediation and report back to the court on the results within 63 days. The court may approve any agreement reached by the parents or will schedule a hearing.

Continue reading “What To Do When Your Ex Won’t Let You See Your Child”

Shared Parenting: 10 Tips for Happy Holidays

Shared Parenting Tips for Holidays-2-Andersen_Law_PC_Beth_Andersen

Over the river and through the woods takes on a new meaning when a judge must decide whether to grandmother’s house you go.

Judges may cringe as the holidays approach, knowing parents will be rushing into court with “emergencies” involving out of state travel, pre-purchased plane tickets and disagreements over the interpretation of parenting plans. It is not unheard of for a judge to hold a phone conference or issue an order regarding whether a trip is allowed and where the children will spend their holiday time. But it is also common for judges to determine that this is not an appropriate “emergency” requiring a forthwith-emergency order. Married parents do not get to call in an officer of the court every time they cannot agree whether the children should visit dad’s parents or mom’s parents. It stands to reason that divorced parents, or those who formed a parenting plan after an allocation of parental responsibilities, should not be able to rush to court either.

The bottom line is that no one should want a judge to determine their holiday plans. I would like to say no one “wants this” rather than “no one SHOULD want this” but I have practiced long enough to know there are a few parents out there who relish in the drama of court proceedings and cannot wait for the next “emergency” battle. For those of us who do NOT think an emergency trip to court or mediation makes a good holiday tradition, the following are some tips to squash some of the drama before it happens. Continue reading “Shared Parenting: 10 Tips for Happy Holidays”

How and why to keep the kids out of your divorce

happygirl_Andersen_Law_PCI want to address the issue of putting the kids in the middle of a divorce tug of war. Don’t do it! It’s natural that when the other parent slings mud at you, puts you down to the children or tries to pull them over to their side, you want to defend yourself and “pull back.” But unfortunately, in the situation of divorce, that only hurts the children by putting them in the middle. Research shows that children who deal with parental conflict often see their sleep habits affected and have ongoing emotional issues. Instead, the better course is to:

– Get curious about the child’s feelings and point of view.

– Ask questions about the child’s perspective (NOT probing questions about the other parent).

– Teach the child to use critical thinking skills and draw their own conclusions.

– Reassure the child that the adults will take care of adult business and they do not have to worry about those issues or fix them. (By the way, “grown-up business” includes money issues, payment or nonpayment of support and fees, court proceedings, dating relationships, fault or “wrongdoing” in divorce — knowing about these issues often gives children all the worry and angst adults have but without any ability to fix things or make a difference. Involving children in adult issues “parentifies” them and that is damaging.)

ABOVE ALL, focus on making YOUR OWN TIME with your children as positive and valuable as possible. This does not mean being a Disney parent without rules or being a best friend. You still have to be a grown-up parent and do the hard things, but just parent as best you can when you can and remember to have fun too. That will plant a seed that blossoms into a better relationship than a landfill of trash talking could ever hope to accomplish.

Strangely enough, this IS legal advice. Colorado law requires you to act in your child’s best interests and also to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other parent. Judges are not afraid to get involved or even limit parenting time when one parent “doesn’t get it” or keeps dragging the children into a divorce tug of war.

Andersen Law PC: when I help you write a good parenting plan and act in your child’s best interest, I protect your family, your finances and your future.