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Center helps Colorado dads reconnect with kids

When a couple divorce, they face critical issues relating to child support, custody and visitation. A local organization is doing its part to help fathers in hardship respond to those issues.

Called the Center on Fathering, the organization helps dads who have been released from prison, or who might be facing other challenges, reconnect with their families and kids. Earlier this month, staff from the center manned phones and took calls on a local morning TV show, responding to questions about child custody, support and visitation, as well as programs available for Colorado fathers.

Ken Sanders, the center's director, emphasizes that fathers are essential for a child's emotional development, as well as financial support. Many courts in Colorado also agree that a child benefits from spending time with both parents.

In Colorado, custody is referred to as parenting responsibility, while visitation is referred to as parenting time. Child support refers to the obligation both parents have to support their children financially.

All three issues are determined based on the best interests of the child and require fact-based inquires beyond simply where the children will live and how much time they will spend with each parent. Rather, they address the emotional center of the parent-child relationship. For that reason, courts will inquire into a number of factors about a child's education, religious upbringing and well-being. Ideally, the parents will cooperate in coming up with a plan that benefits everyone. If agreement is not reached, however, a court will impose a plan in the form of an order.

An experienced family law attorney can ensure that a parent's interests are represented in this process and that the critical bonds between parent and child are maintained after the parents move apart.

Source: 9news.com, "Help for dads with Father's Line9," Jack Maher, June 13, 2012

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