When parents decide to split up at the end of a marriage or relationship, the issue of child custody will probably be foremost in their minds. Sometimes, parents are able to agree on a parenting plan that takes the best interests of the child into account. Other times, however, parents find that they cannot agree, and a judge or other arbiter must help with the decision. This blog post will share some general information about the child custody process in Colorado.
Judges in Colorado often order that parents have joint parental responsibilities. This means that they will share legal custody of their child. Each parent will have a say in the particulars of the child’s upbringing such as what religion the child will be brought up in, where they will go to school and more.
Legal custody is not the same as physical custody, which relates to which parent the child lives with. It is often difficult for a fifty-fifty physical custody arrangement to be implemented. Parents often don’t live close together, making handoffs between parents challenging. Instead, Colorado courts often decree that one parent will be awarded physical custody while the other parent is awarded visitation rights. Exactly how much visitation is awarded depends on the totality of the circumstances. Judges take a number of factors into account, including the child’s own wishes if the child is able to express them.
The issue of child custody can be fraught with emotion. Having a family law advocate can be beneficial for many parents dealing with the thorny issue of their child’s future.