Documenting Your Spouse's Instability for Custody Proceedings

Colorado courts do their utmost to focus on what's best for children in a divorce. After all, it is a well-known fact that divorce can have an adverse effect on the mental health of children. The courts want to do anything in their power to mitigate the potential damage that can result from parents choosing to divorce.

Typically, this means focusing on what the children need during the development process for the parenting plan, which will outline how the courts choose to allocate parental rights and responsibilities. The courts will look at the family situation carefully and try to create a parenting plan that supports a healthy relationship with both parents.

Unfortunately, this isn't always the best option. If you chose to divorce your ex because of serious instability issues, you may worry about that instability affecting your children. Documenting these issues can help you in your upcoming child custody proceedings.

An unstable work or housing history can provide you with a starting point

Many people with mental health or addiction issues have difficulty maintaining the same home or job for an extended period. This can lead to that individual or their entire family frequently needing to relocate. If you experienced this during your marriage, presenting the courts with documentation of the frequent moves or job losses created by your spouse could impact your custody case.

In cases where your ex does not currently have a stable job or housing arrangement, the the lack of current stability can also help show the courts that shared custody may not be in the best interest of the children. Some of the documentation that could help you could include change of address forms, government documents or bills showing different addresses in a short period of time, and paperwork from jobs or housing changes.

Focus on the big picture, not just on your emotions

Leaving an unstable spouse is a difficult prospect. You likely have some emotional wounds that originated from your spouse's instability. Even if they never engaged in abusive behavior, the constant fear about losing your family's income or housing can impact your mental health as well.

While you absolutely should seek to address those issues in counseling or a support group, your emotional reactions to the instability are not what the courts will care about. Instead, you should focus on gathering evidence that shows the courts how the behavior of your ex has impacted your family.

Anything that demonstrates an ongoing trend of difficulties keeping a job or a house could impact how the courts choose to approach custody in your situation. Understanding what factors will impact a Colorado family court's allocation of parental responsibilities can help you build a stronger case for custody and protect your children from the fallout of your divorce.