About Harrison Law Firm, LLC
Harrison Law Firm, LLC has been providing personalized and timely counsel to the people of Colorado Springs since 2000. I know how complex and overwhelming the legal process can be. This is why my goal is to help you understand your rights and the issues affecting your case.
Harrison Law Firm, LLC works hard to protect your rights. But my job doesn’t stop there — I strive to keep you informed about the details of your case as they evolve. Harrison Law Firm, LLC keeps you involved and personally guides you in making important decisions about your case. I am here to serve you and protect your rights. Call today and schedule a consultation.
Bridgette Harrison – Attorney
Ms. Harrison began working with attorneys in New Orleans, practicing civil law specializing mostly in divorce, child custody, personal injury and worker’s compensation cases. My family moved to Colorado in the summer of 2007 after trying to give New Orleans a chance to rebound from Hurricane Katrina. While we miss New Orleans, we loved the climate and people in Colorado.
Ms. Harrison began working in a workers’ compensation firm in Colorado Springs and then worked for the El Paso County District Attorney’s office for six months before moving on to a large firm, specializing solely in Family Law matters.
In November of 2009, Ms. Harrison began working for herself, bringing her unique brand of southern hospitality to her Colorado Springs Family Law. She enjoys working on her own, where she is able to strictly focus on children of divorce and providing excellent customer care to her clients. Working hard in keeping costs down including payment plans for the everyday working man or woman is what she prides herself being able to do. Ms. Harrison understands that not everyone has the money to put up front for high retainers. If they can provide a retainer, those individuals deserve to see their retainers go far.
I love spending time with my own family. My son and I read Harry Potter together every night. I enjoy that time with my son – when we get to spend an hour plus, just the two of us. I know how important this time is to me, which is why I fight for all of my clients to spend that type of time with their own children.
I am accessible for my client – providing an emergency contact number for nights and weekends. I am prompt in communications, returning emails and phone calls within 24 business hours (if not an emergency).
2007 – Present Harrison Law Firm, LLC
2008 – 2009 AssociateGasper Law Group
2008 – 2008 Deputy District Attorney El Paso County District Attorney
2007 – 2008 AssociateSteven Mullens
2004 – 2007 AssociateJohn Fox and Associates
2010 – Present Colorado Bar Association, Family Law SectionMember Louisiana 2001 – Present State Bar AssociationMember
1996 University of New OrleansBA – Bachelor of Arts
2015 Family Law Annual Conference Use of experts in family law cases
Hayes v. New Orleans Vodoo – Taken on appeal
Barnes v. Plaquemines Parish Solid Waste -Affirmed decision of trial court
Fredericks v. Beverly Industries – Affirmed decision of trial court
Richardson v. City of New Orleans – Affirmed decision of trial court
Raymond Burkart v. NOPD – Affirmed decision of civil service commission
Regan v. Lakeland Medical Center – Affirmed decision of trial court
Hart v. Riverside Medical Judgment – Affirmed denying benefits
Munsey v. Cox Communications – Affirmed decision of trial court
Chicago Property Interest v. Broussard – Summary Judgment affirmed
In re E.B.R.A.Trial court – denied relief under Rule 60
Ashlyn Malecki – Paralegal
Ashlyn’s been assisting in Family Law since May 2008. She truly has a passion for Family Law and enjoys assisting client’s with their custody and divorce cases.
When Ashlyn’s not at the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and absolutely loved being in the Colorado backcountry where she hikes and camps.
My Specialized Area of Practice
Ashlyn’s been assisting in Family Law since May 2008. She truly has a passion for Family Law and enjoys assisting client’s with their custody and divorce cases.
When Ashlyn’s not at the office, she enjoys spending time with her family and absolutely loved being in the Colorado backcountry where she hikes and camps.
Legal News & Resources
Colorado State Judicial Branch
Fourth Judicial District
Parental Alienation Support
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What do i do if my lawyer tells me that he does not know how to fight my case and tells me i should just give up
My children were taken into DHS custody in Colorado Springs Colorado, over hearsay that came from a totally different state (Oregon) where my Ex BF was abusive to me and my children so i left and came to Colorado, the DHS took my kids because they…
I would shave to agree with the other attorneys who have responded to your inquiry – get a second opinion. When you call or meet with this sec on opinion attorney, make sure to take as much documentation with you as you can. Take your Petition for Dependency and Neglect and take the “Treatment Plan” – all treatment plans and staffing summaries. I cannot say why your attorney is changing his opinion but something must have come up in the Treatment Plan or staffing summary for the attorney to change his mind.
2. I make more than my husband, but he has the assets, Will I have to pay Spousal Support?
We’ve been married 3 years and as of last year, I make much more money than my husband. He is much older than me and used to make lots more money. He has the assets (cars, toys, camper, quads, rental unit.) We refinanced our house a couple yrs …
Permanent maintenance is trickier. It is awarded after the date of decree and there are a lot more factors that go into it other than a financial need. Your ex would have to show that he is not capable of working, you are capable of paying maintenance and he has not received enough property from the marriage to care for his financial needs. In addition to these factors, the court considers the length of the marriage. If you have a short term marriage, i.e. less than 10 years, it is doubtful the court would award permanent maintenance, but not impossible. He would have to show that he is not capable of working, he has no property to support his financial needs and you are capable of paying his maintenance. It is doubtful you would have an award for permanent maintenance but it depends on the property division, amount he earns through pension or retirement and your income.
3. Veteran needs help getting property settlement award.
We are both veterans. He is a retired Captain in the Navy 0-6. We divorced 27 years ago in CO. My attorney and my husband collaborated giving me a phony copy of the property settlement awarding me nothing. ONLY two months ago I discovered the …
So you originally had a copy of the property settlement that was incorrect and then later discovered the true copy awarding you over $150,000 plus interest? If you have the actual, true order that awards you a settlement, you should have no problem enforcing the Order and filing Contempt charges to enforce the prior agreement/order. While the statute of limitations has expired prohibiting you from appealing or reviewing the court’s decision, if there is an actual order that awards you a sum of money that you have not yet received but should have, you can enforce the payment of that award.
4. If the father was just released from prison and is a halfway house does he have any rights to his two year old daughter
The mother of the child has had the child for the last two years while i was in prison.She is a drug addict and she has left the child with different people off and on for the two years.Can I sign temporary custody for a friend till i get out in t…
So file the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities if nothing has been filed before, or file the motion to modify parenting time as soon as possible. Those are your best bets.
5. My child’s mother is denying any visitation.
My child’s mother is deny me any type of visitations. I am to have supervised visitations with my son but his mother refuses to allow anyone but herself supervise the visits. She is using my son as a pawn in our relationship. What can i do in orde…
I do not have your prior decree in front of me so it is a little hard for me to guide you through this. I can say that you should go back into court to modify parenting time (so long as you have never filed a motion to modify parenting time before or it has been more than 2 years since you last filed a motion to modify). Once in court, see whether the court is correct that you should continue to have your parenting time supervised. It may be that the reason you were under supervised parenting time before is no longer an issue.
During the interim, ask that you guys go to supervised parenting time through CASA. They are located downtown and you can look them up online or in the phone book. They may require a court order and it sounds like you have one. If they cannot get you into CASA and if your ex continues to deny parenting time, it may be a good thing. Just show the court that she is refusing to allow you parenting time although you keep requesting it. Keep a log book or journal of the times you request and she denies. It will be very helpful.
6. Should I file on my own for visitation rights although I already have a pending child support case?
The mother of my child lives in GA and I am stationed in CO. She does not let me see my daughter because she dislikes my wife. We currently have a child support case scheduled but I also want visitation rights. I am aware that I can petition the…
I can’t say you will not need an attorney. Both issues may require an attorney but I cannot say with the limited information. You should not need an attorney to file the paperwork and go to mediation (which the court will require). If you cannot come to an agreement at mediation and proceed to hearing, you may need an attorney but I really can’t say one way or another.
7. The other parent is refusing my parenting time..what do i do
yes I owe support. he used my drinking problem to gain custody. been sober for over one year and he will not allow her to visit me. what do i do to enforce he comply?
You should try to make your support payments as best you can. trust me, it would look very good if you at least made an attempt.
Even if you go after the contempt of court, it sounds like you may need to modify your parenting time. If you have never modified your parenting time since the decree, you can file a motion to modify parenting time. If you have filed a motion to modify parenting time since the decree, you have to make sure it has been more than 2 years since that last decree (on the motion to modify) in order to go back into court to modify again (I know it’s a little confusing). Once you file the motion to modify, you can seek the court to change your current parenting plan so you get additional parenting time with your child.
I would seek the advice of a lawyer. i try not to refer people to lawyers but I think, in your case, you really should consult with one. If you do not seek advice of counsel, file the contempt and file the motion to modify (unless the last motion to modify decree was filed within the past 2 years).
8. Ex owes around $15,000+ in back child support. current payments are rare. What can I do?
My ex owes a great deal in back support. Currently he does pay a little but that never lasts. HE’s never had insurance despite the court order. And I hear he may be required to pay interest on the back support? Any way to collect more money? …
I see that you are here in colorado springs. So are your payments going through the Family Support Registry (FSR)? FSR should be working with you to get those payments. He has to make his minimum payments or El Paso County Child Support Enforcement Unit (CSE) would go after him. CSE works with you to get your child support payments. You have a caseworker assigned and should call her to find out why he is not paying his full amount. CSE will then go after him on your child’s behalf.
I say your child’s behalf because CSE does not represent you and you may need an attorney to represent your interest but it is not necessary. If CSE goes after him, they will set a hearing to determine if his current support payments are reasonable with his income. The arrears are calculated and spread out over 24 months to give him time to repay. If his support goes up to, say, $300.00 per month, and he owes $15,000. then applying the 24 months, he would have to pay you $924.00 per month ($624 per month for 24 months in arrears). they would garnish his paycheck for the money and intercept his tax return refunds to repay you. Failure to pay would result in his drivers license being suspended or he could go to jail for up to 6 months.
So contact your caseworker and get them to go after him. If you are not going through FSR, contact them to find out how to get your support payments registered. It usually takes a court order and then the wage assignment takes effect.
hope this helps.
9. If I just recently got married & am considering an annulment/divorce, would my now husband have any rights to my children?
I have 2 sm children from a previous relationship & in my new marriage, I am considering an annulment/divorce. I’m just wondering if my husband of now would have any rights to try & take my kids from me or would he be granted visitation rights to …
The statute requires that he had physical custody for the children for the past 6 months (from the date he files). This is a guidepost. If he says he has been in their lives for a good deal of time and taken care of the children and they look at him as a father, then he may be able to get parenting time. Naturally, he may also be responsible for child support, unless you are receiving support from the biological father.
So this is a short answer but I can’t say a whole lot more without further information (ages of children and years dad has been in their lives). If you file for divorce, see if he includes the children. If you file, there are two type of divorce documents – one is “with children” and the other is “without.” If I were you, i would file “without children” and see if he responds to the divorce petition arguing he is entitled to parenting time. If he does, then you need to consult with a layer and provide them with the information I needed to answer fully.
Good luck to you.
10. Can my ex-wife use the non-joint child deduction on her financial affidavit ?
There is already an existing court order for child support on this non-joint child that lives with her full time. however she is claiming the deduction on her financial affidavit in our case for child support. Which lowers her income and increas…
If she is NOT receiving payments but there is an order, then leaving that section blank is proper. The money to be included is only money currently received. so what do you do to ensure you are not getting stuck paying extra because a dead beat dad does nothing? Make the court aware. When you go into court, ask her questions about her ordered child support payments for this child. How much does she receive? why does she not receive it? why has she done nothing to retrieve those funds? Things like that. make the court aware that her income should be higher based on her ordered child support payments. Once the court hears this testimony, they should factor the ordered payments into her gross monthly income. That would help to decrease your support.
In addition, the child support worksheets the court uses takes these factors into consideration, even if there are no payments received from a court order. The child support worksheets have several sections where it asks things like, “how many other children are you responsible for that you receive NO support,’ “other court ordered child support payments” things like that. So even if she is not receiving the payments ordered, you still get credit for her inaction.
I would make sure you make the court aware of these issues. If you go to mediation, make the mediator aware as well. This should help you establish what the proper calculation of child support should be.
Good luck and use the court resources. Mediation, hearing… If the court and mediator are aware, they will not count it against you.
11. Claim boyfriend on taxes? Can my income be taken for child support?
Can I claim my boyfriend as a dependant on my taxes (with out filing as married) if he has no income for the year? If so, can his child’s mother come after my income for child support payments? We are in Colorado his child support is out of Texas.
Now to whether his ex can claim your income. The answer is no. The only income child support considers is his income. Spouses are not factored into the computation of child support – EVER. so you could be the heir to the Bill Gates fortune, currently receiving a trust fund dividend payment of $1m annually and your boyfriend does nothing and sits on his butt pampering himself all day, and the child support enforcement cannot consider your income at all (unless you pay him a salary to do nothing).
Naturally this gets into the impute arguments as to what your boyfriend’s earning capacity is for calculation of income. He can sit on his butt but if he voluntarily chooses to do nothing and he is capable of earning a living making $50k a year, his income will be imputed at 50k a year. If he is unemployed through no fault of his own and actively seeks employment, then he will be imputed at minimum wage or what he receives in unemployment benefits.
So long and short, she cannot factor your income into the equation.
12. Can a father go to jail at an advisement hearing?
My ex (and father of my child) owes around $15K in arrears for his first child. He has an advisement hearing today and I know the last time he saw the judge in July of ’08 she said she wanted to put him in jail for contempt of court. Is that somet…
The reason I say, “maybe” is because the court could place that individuals under arrest if the attorney for child support enforcement (CSE) argues they are a flight risk and will likely fail to appear at the hearing date. Even when CSE makes that motion, it is up to the court to determine whether to place that person in custody immediately. In my experience, I have never seen that happen. But like I tell clients – anything can happen.
The penalties for violation of a generic contempt citation are up to 6 months in jail and/or repayment of attorney fees and costs. There are 2 types of contempt – punitive, which includes jail time or remedial, which is repayment of the ordered amount (in your case $15k in child support) and repayment of attorney fees and cost. A party may also seek both types of contempt in their motion.
Usually, courts do not impose jail time on a first offense (or at least not much depending on the severity of the offense). Multiple offenses carry heavier jail sentences. Of course, all of these factors are contingent on each individual experience.
You can also request (as the victim) a lighter sentence based on whatever circumstances you advise the court. You are also free to negotiate a lesser amount owed by your ex. This would result in a stipulation between you and your ex which lowers the amount of arrears he owes. I do that all the time, lowering amount of child support and arrears owed. So it can be done. You do not need an attorney and can make CSE aware of your agreement on amount of child support and arrears owed. That gets into a whole other topic about voluntary stipulations to reduction of child support and arrears. But it can be done by the agreement of the parties.
13. Can unmarried mother of newborn deliver baby in one state and move to another state if the father of baby is not n agreement?
Unwed parents are both adults in late 20’s…no plan to marry. mother may have job offer in Kansas or Nebraska and would like to move with child once born…can see do this without legal ramification?
That said, even if nothing has been filed and mother takes baby out of state, dad can start an allocation of parental responsibilties (APR) action here. If he files before the child has lived in Kansas for more than six months, then mom would be forced to return to Colorado to fight the action. Filing of the action, after the move, cannot force mom to return with child but she will have to defend against the action. If it is filed before the move, it MAY (and I stress MAY) force her to return. If filed after 6 months, then Kansas would take jurisdiction under the UCCJEA (uniform child custody enforcement act)
Short answer, if nothing filed, move quickly. If something filed, then that will be a whole other story.
14. My daughter let my grand daughter go to Ohio to visit her father and he will not return her and filed residential custody.
He has only made a couple child support payments and his actions are soley motivated to get the child support squashed. she has texts pertaining to this fact. she has no way to get to Ohio by the 26th of January to attend the court appearance. How…
This gets a little complicated so I will try to explain as best I can. If nothing has ever been filed in a state, and your granddaughter has lived in Colorado for more than 6 months prior to going to see dad, then Colorado has jurisdiction. If something was filed in another state pertaining to custody of your granddaughter (other than Colorado or Ohio) then Colorado takes jurisdiction if your granddaughter lived here for at least 6 months and neither parent resides int he state of the original action. If something was filed in Ohio years ago, then, unfortunately, Ohio has jurisdiction.
Obviously you are getting into a jurisdictional issue. The question is which state controls. Like I said, if something was filed in Ohio years ago, the case stays there and your daughter would have to file an emergency hearing in Ohio and hire an Ohio lawyer. If nothing has ever been filed in Ohio (until recently obviously) but there was a pleading or case filed here, then Colorado controls.
The first question your lawyer would have to figure out is which jurisdiction controls. Don’t waste money hiring a lawyer in Ohio if jurisdiction is here. Then the next step is to file an emergency motion to return the child.
You will HAVE to talk to an attorney and sooner rather than later. The controlling law is the UCCJEA – Uniform Child Custody Jurisdictional Enforcement Act. Ohio has adopted that act (I believe).
Please talk to a lawyer and I wish you and your daughter luck!
15. Colorado child support termination request question.
In Colorado I have to request for termination of child support when my daughter turns 19. My question is when do I file this request? The court and respondent have a 45 day response window. So, do I file 45 days before her 19th birthday(to all…
16. Question regarding Child custody in Colorado
I have joint legal custody of my 16 year old daughter who does not wish to live with her mother and step-father any longer. Her mother is the residential custodial parent. There are reasons why my daughter wishes to live with me and not at her mot…
The Courts usually do not listen to the wishes of the child, but based on her age and desires, an in chamber interview can be conducted with the judge, where the judge listens to your daughter’s desires out of the earshot of yourself and your ex. The court may still not consider this, but based on her age, it is likely the court will take it into consideration.
so, motion to modify parenting time filed with the clerk’s office. You can do this without counsel and ask for assistance in the clerk’s office. Set for hearing and request in chamber interview between the court and your daughter.
17. How and when do i file for child support in Colorado? I am pregnant right now.
I recently found out I was pregnant by my boyfriend who is a veteran firefighter here in Co. He left me as soon as he found out I was keeping our baby. I am unsure of when and how to file for child support here in Colorado and how to even go about…
It is important to file quickly because you are likely incurring cost for pregnancy and birth. The father will be required to pay up to $250.00 in reimbursable delivery expenses. So if you have a $500.00 deductible or you pay $1,000 for delivery, then he will pay $250.00 (less if a co-pay issue). Then child support can be established so it is in place when the baby is born, to assist you financially during recovery time.
If you file prenatal, you may be required to undergo a paternity test while the baby is in the womb. That would be the only “uncomfortable” thing. Otherwise, if you file after birth, the child would be tested after birth.
As for child support, it is based on the parties’ income. If you are not working or working only part-time, the court will not impute you at a wage until the baby is 30 months old. The court will impute you at least at minimum wage regardless of whether or not you are working if the baby is more than 30 months old. The reason is the court understands some mother’s remain at home for the first few months for the benefit of the baby. However, you cannot say you do not work and still have daycare expenses, so think about this. It gets a lot more complicated so if you go this route, you might need to consult with a lawyer.
Also understand that once you file, the father may request parenting time once the child is born. Usually parenting time is for a few hours during the early part of the child’s life but that also depends on your judge. Just a little FYI.
So you have time and I would recommend waiting until the 3rd trimester before filing. Just remember, Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and unborn child.
18. Birth certificate changes?
My x husband wants off the birth certificate of my daughter and she is not biologically his. he ison the run from the cops so he will not come in for paternity testing. he wants to sign papers and it be off. is that possible in colorado and if so ho…
So what does he have to do? Bio dad would have to file a petition to terminate rights and undergo counseling so he understands the importance of his decision. once the court is satisfied he understands the consequences of the termination, his rights will be voluntarily terminated and you can seek to removed him from the birth certificate. This, however, would result in bio dad having to go into court to testify and explain to the court why he wants his rights terminated.
If there is a dependency and neglect case, started by DHS (department of human services) then they can terminate his rights. This is more complicated and time consuming. he may not have to appear but would have to be given notice that DHS intends to terminate his rights (or he could overturn the decision), which means he would have to be served.
If he is on the run and refuses to participate in court proceedings or accept service, it may prove impossible to terminate rights until he is caught and agrees while incarcerated.
I apologize this may not be the answer sought but if he refuses to comply with the courts or service, there is little that can be done until he is caught.
Good luck to you and I hope things turn out well, especially for your daughter.
19. What rights does my childs father and grandmother have to him when he is only on the birth certificate?
My 3 year olds biological father is in prison for theft and is only on the birth certificate. we moved away from the state where his father and grandmother are. How much rights do they have when it comes to visitation? Can i be ordered back to Ind…
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdictional Enforcement act is recognized in Colorado and most of the other states. The rule I explained above ( 6 month rule) is recognized by these jurisdictions. If something was filed before the 6 month mark in Colorado, then you can be brought back to Indiana. If not, then jurisdiction is here.
What about actions filed in Colorado? The bio dad could not file here since he is incarcerated. If he is released, then he can seek parenting time. But because he had no contact with the child, parenting time would be severely restricted.
The same is true of grandparents. They can file for parenting time under the grandparents rights act (title 19 to colorado revised statutes). But again, because they have had very limited contact with the child up to the date of filing, their parenting time would be curtailed as well. When I say curtailed, I mean they would be in some type of supervised parenting time until the child is comfortable. Once the child has had extensive contact, there are other ways to get around their length of parenting time, but far too complicated to explain briefly here.
If nothing has been filed, I would not worry. If something was filed in Indiana before the 6 month mark in colorado, you would need an attorney in Indiana. If something was filed in Indiana but after the child was here for 6 months, then you would need an attorney to file here and get the case transferred and taken care of. If something was filed here, you would need an attorney in colorado.
I hope this was helpful and if this only created additional questions, you should consult with an attorney.
20. Can the state of Colorado take over a child support case from another state?
Both parties to case no longer live in the state of the order
I hope this information has been of some help. I generally do not represent individuals in transfer of support orders but believe this would be one of two proper avenues.
21. Maintenance payments in an uncontested divorce
Can u have an uncontested divorce and still let the courts decide the amount and duration of alimony?
If there is a dispute as to maintenance calculation or award, then the court cannot set the matter for an uncontested hearing, since the issue of maintenance is, well, contested. However, if you set for contested final orders and go into court to advise the court you are in agreement as to everything, save for maintenance, then the only issue the court will address is the award and calculation of spousal maintenance. So everything else would be uncontested but the issue of spousal maintenance would not.
So the answer is yes and no, but mostly no. You can go to the clerks office and file a notice to set contested final orders hearing and the court will give you a date when you can set the matter for final orders. Then you will go to mediation (if not completed already) and try to agree to maintenance. If not, then you will go to a hearing and have the court decide.
Maintenance is contingent upon many factors, which are set forth in Colorado revised statutes (14-10-114). This statute lists out the factors the courts consider when determining whether to award maintenance. It includes the income of the parties and property awarded to both parties as well as the length of marriage. It is hard to give further information without knowing specific facts of the case so you may want to consult with a lawyer who can give you a better idea.
22. How long do i have to pay alimony to my ex wife
We were married for 6 years
If you have not had final orders at this time, the answer for length of maintenance depends on a varied number of factors. This includes the length of marriage and respective income of parties. I had a client who made $12,000 gross per month and the wife made $7,000. My client was in military and returning in a few months, which would result in a decrease of his income. Even though the parties had been married for 8 years, the court found no maintenance was required because wife made good money and had a lot of property to care for her needs. So you see, there are no hard and fast rules and whether you pay depends on a number of factors.