For Colorado parents who are no longer together in a relationship, the needs of the child must be taken into consideration and treated as paramount. Often, child custody will be disagreed upon and a custody dispute will ensue. The courts will consider the best interests of the child above all else. Parents should understand various aspects of child custody, the child’s best interests and how the case can be settled with as little disruption in the child’s life as possible. Knowing the important points about how the courts deal with these issues is crucial to a favorable resolution for everyone.
While child custody is often the prevailing term, it is officially referred to as “parental responsibilities.” The bottom line remains the same – the determination will be made as to with whom the child will reside and how the major decisions regarding education and health are made. Various factors will be considered when deciding on the child’s best interests. That can include a parental bond, changes the child will need to endure if he or she must move to a new home and what the child wants.
In general, the state prefers to let the parents have joint legal custody or to share legal custody. With that, the parents will decide on issues surrounding the child together. Attempts to have 50/50 physical custody can be a difficult endeavor. In some cases, the parents will live in different states or issues will arise that make equal time with each parent untenable. To make the situation easier, the courts will grant one parent custody with the other parent getting visitation rights. Each case will be decided on its own merits and many factors will be weighed when the decision is made.
If there is abuse or other problems with one of the parents, then sole physical and legal custody can be granted. The child might be allowed to express his or her preference with where to live, but the child must first be deemed of sufficient maturity to have a say. Colorado does not have an age at which the child’s wishes must be considered. The judge will decide.
For parents who have parted ways, the child’s living situation can be a complicated matter. Whether it is an amicable parting or there is a custody dispute, having a grasp on how the law deals with legal custody, the best interests of the child and any other matter related to child custody is key. A lawyer who understands all aspects of child custody is crucial and should be contacted immediately.
Source: statelaws.findlaw.com, “Colorado Child Custody Laws,” accessed on Feb. 28, 2018