Child Custody Attorney
Colorado Springs Child Custody Attorney
At Daugherty Law LLC, a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer, Mary understands that your children, their custody (including parenting time, time with other family members, what is said to your children by the other parent, and how decisions are made with regard to parenting) is probably the thing you care most about in leaving your marriage.
She strives to grasp the emotional, physical, and financial needs that each family has, and makes these the center-point of her child custody arguments. The court will look to the best interests of the children and Mary will work with you to serve the best interests of your children as well.
An Experienced Child Custody Attorney
When working on child custody arrangements and agreements with her clients, Mary tailors her representation to help her clients fight for the best interests of their children. She represents family members in coming up with sustainable parenting plans that put the children’s needs at the forefront.
Parents Should Be Part Of A Custody Decision
Daugherty Law LLC believes that an ideal child custody situation should include both parents. When possible, we work to come up with equitable solutions which allow each parent to work in a cooperative manner for the child’s sake.
The laws involving child custody and divorce in Colorado can be complex and confusing. Yet at the end of the day, if the parents are not able to agree to a parenting plan, it will be a judge that makes the final decision in on custody in a custody or divorce case. Mary Daugherty works hard for the best possible outcome concerning your children’s custody.
We help parents to reach an agreement on parenting or custody plans where appropriate. A divorce and child custody attorney who is highly skilled and solution-based will become your very best asset over the course of this important and sensitive process.
Parents Can Submit Their Own Child Custody Plan
Parents can either submit their single, agreed upon plan, for custody to a court, or each parent will submit their own plans and then have a judge make a decision based on the merits contained in each.
In a case whereby no plan has been submitted by either parent, the courts then use their own observation in order to make a decision on a plan for parenting that will have to be followed.
That is why we believe it is the best all around strategy if the parents, by working together with the children’s best interests at heart, design a custody plan. Mary Daugherty can help craft that plan.
When making a decision on who will be granted physical custody linked to the child or children a judge takes into consideration these factors listed in Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-124 , which include:
- The wishes of the child’s parents as to parenting time;
- The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time;
- The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party; except that, if the court determines that a party is acting to protect the child from witnessing domestic violence or from being a victim of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, the party’s protective actions shall not be considered with respect to this factor;
- The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time;
- Credible evidence of the ability of the parties to cooperate and to make decisions jointly;
- Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support that would indicate an ability as mutual decision makers to provide a positive and nourishing relationship with the child;
- Whether an allocation of mutual decision-making responsibility on any one or a number of issues will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each of the parties.
How Does Child Custody Work In Colorado?
Child custody breaks down to two areas, parenting time and decision-making.
Parenting Time Or Visitation Rights
Parenting time tells which parent the child will live with, or on what days of the week or time of the year the child will live with each parent. Parenting time will be determined and spelled out in a parenting plan in the clearest way possible. While the default in Colorado is that each parent gets 50% of the parenting time, there are many reasons that 50/50 parenting time is not awarded (normally when it is not in the best interest of the children).
As you move through this process, you will need to determine what arrangement works best for your child. It is good to consider both parents’ work schedules, the child’s school schedule (and location), the child’s routine, holiday preferences of each parent, and vacation preferences of each parent when crafting your parenting plan.
Parental decision-making tells the parties how decisions will be made about the children. Like parenting time, parental decision-making must be spelled out in the parties’ parenting plan. The baseline in 50/50 arrangements is that the parents make all major life decisions for the child jointly while day-to-day decisions are made by the parent with whom the child is living that day. In allocating decision-making authority, the court will look to whether the parents are able to make decisions together well and whether each parent is able to place the child’s needs above his or her own.
Parental decision-making will affect major life decisions like which doctor or therapist a child will to go to, which (if any) extracurricular activities a child will participate in, which school a child will attend, whether they will have certain medical procedures done, and whether the child will be allowed to leave the country. Day-to-day decisions, normally left to the caretaking parent, include things like meals, dress, homework help, and bedtime, medication for normal illnesses.
There are a variety of different custody arrangements that include:
- Shared custody; the parents will alternate parenting time and mutually agree on all parenting decisions
- Shared custody with one parent living out of state; the child normally lives with one parent during the school year and alternates holidays and summer breaks time periods with the other parent and the parents share decision-making authority
- Sole custody; one parent is awarded sole parenting time and decision-making authority with limited visitations with the other parent
Court Decisions Involve Best Interests Of The Child
In a custody case, the court focus heavily on the best interests of the child or children. The court can decide that it would be better for only one of the parents to maintain sole custody (parenting time and decision-making) or can generate a parenting plan that awards parenting time and decision-making as the court sees as the best custody option.
Luckily, custody is neither a zero-sum game nor unmodifiable. State laws are supportive of the idea that the health of a child is supported best when both parents are present and court custody orders will reflect an effort to have both parents involved in the child’s life.
You Need An Experienced Custody Attorney
A concerned and experienced attorney has the skills to guide you effectively through all the legal processes involved and will respect your emotional needs. Mary Daugherty of Daugherty Law LLC is an experienced and caring attorney who can help you craft a successful custody plan.