Child Custody and Support, Adoption, and Guardianship

Child Custody and Child Support

You love your child more than anything, but you just can’t be with the child’s other parent any more.  That’s ok, it happens in life.  Do you want to make sure that you have a parenting plan and child support in place, without running through all your money or destroying your relationship with your ex?  Then call me for a free consultation.

Have you have already gone to court for orders, but now things have changed and you need to have different orders?  Maybe the parenting plan needs to change, or maybe you got a better job and that will affect child support.  This is a very common occurrence, but there are things that you need to know.  You have to meet a set of criteria before you can file for a modification.  I can tell you whether you have a case or not at a free consultation.

In Colorado, we have a system called Allocation of Parental Responsibilities for parents who were never married.  During that process, we determine what the parenting time will be with the child, and we also determine who will make what decisions.  Did you know that both of you have equal rights to the child unless you ask for a parenting plan?  That means that your ex can do whatever they want until you have court orders.  The other parent also does not owe child support until the Court has put an order in place.  Let me help you provide your child with stability both with finances and with his or her schedule.

The best way to figure out parenting time with your child is through mediation.  In mediation, the couple can work together, with a trained mediator, and their lawyers, to come to their own agreements.  This gives you the power to make a decision for yourself, instead of leaving it up to a judge.  I am dedicated to helping you identify what are your most important topics during the divorce, and then working with you to create a plan to meet your needs.  I answer all your questions to ensure that you fully understand your options.  Mediation is far less expensive than trial.  Don’t use your money on the attorney, save it for your children.  When you hire The Rutherford Law Center, LLC, to help you, you get an attorney who is dedicated to doing what is right for you.  That means that we will prepare for mediation and do our best to reach the best settlement for you.

But some cases just aren’t appropriate for mediation.  Sometimes one parent is so bad, or so uncooperative, that our only option is going to court.  We do not give up on you and your children’s needs just for the sake of settlement.  I have spent a lot of time in court, and have won awards for my trial advocacy.  If you have to go to trial, make sure you do so with a skilled attorney.  Did you know that if you try to take a case to trial by yourself you are held to the same standards as an attorney?  Don’t get caught in a trap, have an attorney to make sure that you are presented in the best way possible in front of the judge.  I will prepare the evidence and witnesses, do the questioning, and make sure that the judge understands you and your case.  You can use the extra time you have focusing on your children.

“Meggin was extremely professional and knowledgeable. She was up front and honest about my case and what the potential outcomes could be before going to trial. I was very impressed with her overall and would absolutely recommend her to any family of friends!”  –Mother in Adams County

Adoption

Sometimes, when one or both parents are unable to care for a child, it is best for the child to be adopted by a person who cares for them.  Fortunately, we can get a formal adoption through the court.  The process is fairly easy most of the time.

If you are a step-parent, grandparent, or guardian who has had the child for more than six months, and one or both of the parents are not in the picture, come and talk to me.  There are ways to adopt the child so that the law deems the child to be fully yours.  I love to help families get the legal recognition for the family that they already have.

If someone is asking you to give up your parental rights for adoption, you need to know your rights and responsibilities.  This is not something to be done lightly.  We will talk through your options to make sure that you are protected.

Guardianship

Sometimes a child needs someone to take care of them while a parent cannot do so.   That is called a guardianship, and there are many ways to get it done.  With a guardianship, the person taking care of the child will have the legal rights to make decisions for a certain period of time.  This can be done through the courts, or outside of them, as is appropriate.  Guardianship is often appropriate for times when a parent will be gone for an extended period of time, or when they are not able to care for their children for a personal reason.

I am happy to help you through the process to make sure that the child is safe and happy and healthy.

“Both my son and myself recommend Meggin, for her services especially in men’s support and with child custody matters. She does not waste a person’s time or money when going to courts. She adds always an incentive to being represented when you also help with yourself.” –Grandmother in Arapahoe County