Child Custody in Colorado – Things To Consider

Child custody in Colorado has some common-sense laws that govern the allocation of parental responsibilities and decision-making authority for children. These laws aim to protect the child’s best interests while promoting a healthy and stable environment for their upbringing. Here are some key points about child custody laws in Colorado:

Types of Child Custody In Colorado: Two types of Custody Recognized;

a. Physical Custody: This refers to where the child will live and spend their time.
b. Legal Custody: This involves decision-making authority regarding the child’s education, healthcare, religion, and other important aspects of their upbringing.

Best Interests of the Child

Colorado courts prioritize the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Factors such as the child’s emotional bond with each parent, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs, the child’s adjustment to their community, and any history of domestic violence or child abuse are taken into account.

Parenting Plan

If parents can reach an agreement on custody, they can create a parenting plan that outlines the allocation of parental responsibilities. This plan should cover decision-making authority, parenting time schedules, and other relevant details. The court will review and approve the plan to ensure it serves the child’s best interests.

Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Colorado encourages parents to engage in mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve custody disputes. Mediation involves a neutral third party helping parents reach a mutually acceptable agreement. If mediation is unsuccessful, the court may make a custody determination.

Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody

Colorado favors joint custody arrangements that involve shared decision-making and substantial parenting time for both parents, as long as it is in the child’s best interests. However, in cases where it is determined that joint custody is not appropriate, the court may award sole custody to one parent.

Parenting Time

If joint custody is awarded, a parenting time schedule will be established. The schedule outlines when and where the child will spend time with each parent. Factors such as the child’s age, school schedule, and the parents’ work schedules are considered when determining the parenting time arrangement.

Modification and Enforcement

Custody orders can be modified if there has been a substantial change in circumstances or if it is in the child’s best interests. In cases of non-compliance with custody orders, parents can seek enforcement through the court.

It’s important to note that child custody laws can be complex and vary based on individual circumstances. It is advisable to consult with a family law attorney or legal professional specializing in child custody matters to understand how the law specifically applies to your situation in Colorado.

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