Saturday, July 24, 2021

Voice of the consumer: Lawyers set to give out free family law tips – KKTV 11 News

Our 11 News Call For Action team pens a weekly column for our news partner The Gazette. Previous columns can be found here.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – Friday, you can learn more about how to handle family law issues in the court system.

The fifth annual Family Law Day is set for July 16. Like last year, this year’s free event is virtual, so people across the Pikes Peak region can participate online.

“Facing family law issues can often be a daunting prospect for litigants,” says Sarah Lipka with Colorado Legal Services. “Assistance from attorneys can be prohibitively expensive for some, putting the help of a lawyer out of reach of many low- and moderate-income residents of the region. Family Law Day is intended to help bridge this gap in access and provide an opportunity for community members to receive the education, advice, and support they need as they navigate what can be the most difficult time in their lives.”

According to The Justice Center, in 2017, 76 percent of people who filed for a family law case in the 4th Judicial District had no representation.

“That’s a big chunk of people that don’t have access to legal counsel or assistance at all throughout their case,” said Britt Kwan, The Justice Center’s executive director.

Family Law Day offers informative videos and workshops on topics including how to file a divorce, child support and maintenance basics, parenting plans, how to enforce a court order, and how to represent yourself in the courtroom.

“So many of our customers get stuck, get frustrated and give up,” said Lisa Younger Anderson, a self-represented litigant coordinator for El Paso County Combined Courts. “Letting them know that, you know, ‘Don’t get frustrated. You don’t have a law degree, and you need the help,’ and we’re going to partner with agencies as we have with The Justice Center, attorneys, and to make sure that we can help our customers be able to get a fair outcome.”

All the videos and workshops are set to go live at 9 a.m. Friday, but you don’t have to watch them that day.

“Because this event is virtual, the nice thing is that we can make these resources available for the entire week after the event, so it’s not just a limited window where people can access these tools,” Kwan said.

There will also be lawyers standing by from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Friday to answer your legal questions concerning family law issues. Call 719-473-6212 during that time to talk with a lawyer one-on-one for free.

You can register for Family Law Day in advance or day of by visiting www.justicecentercos.org/family-law-day. For more information, email [email protected]. Spanish interpreters will be available.

I also wanted to remind you that the Internal Revenue Service is set to start distributing the monthly Child Tax Credit payments this week. Eligible families will earn between $250 and $300 each month, depending on the age of their child, for a total of $3,000 to $3,600 per qualifying child. The IRS will pay half the total credit amount in advance monthly payments beginning July 15. You will claim the other half when you file your 2021 income tax return. Visit www.IRS.gov/childtaxcredit2021 for more information.

Click here to read the original column on gazette.com.

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