A divorce or separation can cause significant emotional hardship on the individuals who have chosen to end their relationship. Breaking a commitment that one has made to another is particularly difficult when the soon-to-be ex-partners share children. In Colorado, divorce or separation-related child custody proceedings must be driven by considerations that protect the child’s best interests.
However, there is no single formula or test to ensure that a child’s physical, mental and emotional health will be protected once they are subjected to a court order to a parent negotiated custody arrangement. As the needs of every child are different, it is important for readers to recognize that child custody decisions protect the best interests of the children can look different and operate in unique ways.
As such, there are many factors that parties and courts must assess to ensure that the custody plan allows a child to grow and thrive. Not only do these considerations look at the child in question, but also the parents, who will be providing the child with continuing care.
The physical and mental health of both the child and their parents will be assessed. Additionally, the relationships between the child and their parents will be carefully considered. If the child is young and attached to one parent, then that may weigh in favor of allowing that parent physical custody. Conversely, if a child and parent have a bad or even violent relationship, then that parent may have more of a challenge to secure physical custody of the child. If the child is old enough, they may be offer their own opinion on who should have custody.
But, these are only a few of the many considerations parents and courts must make when planning the custody of their child. Family law attorneys can provide case-specific support to their clients who are struggling with custody and divorce matters.