Child custody, also known as parental responsibilities, is a significant step that parents have to go through during divorce or separation. Because child custody cases can quickly become complicated and overwhelming, it’s important to understand the child custody laws. The Colorado child custody lawyers at Law Office of Alexandra White, PC have put together everything you should know about child custody in Colorado.
What Does Child Custody Accomplish?
Child custody determines important factors in both the parents’ and children’s lives. Some of the factors that are determined in child custody include who the child will live with, which parent (or if both) gets to make significant decisions in the child’s life (such as education and health), along with the visitation plan for both parents.
A Colorado family law court would be responsible for determining child custody if the parties are unable to come to an agreement. A judge will make a decision based on the child’s best interests. Neither parent begins with a greater right to custody than the other.
Factors Considered When Determining Child Custody
Judges often consider multiple factors when determining child custody. However, some of the most common factors that they analyze are the child’s health, safety, and their emotional and developmental needs.
Health & Safety
When determining child custody, a Colorado judge will ensure that their decision is based on the child’s health and safety. The judge will identify any issues that may affect the child’s physical well-being, including domestic violence or child abuse. If the case does involve child abuse or domestic violence, the judge will often require visitations to be supervised. However, if the cases are severe, the judge may deny the parent contact with the child.
Emotional Health & Developmental Needs
The judge will also consider the child’s emotional health and growth. The court will assess the dependency and strength of each parent’s relationship with the child and each parent’s past day-to-day involvement with the child. However, the judge will also consider both parent’s wishes to ensure that the child’s life remains as stable as possible in all areas of their life, and each parents ability to support and encourage the relationship between the child and the other parent
Types of Child Custody that Can Be Granted
There are various different types of custody arrangements that the court may grant you. Below we have put together the types of child custody and what they mean:
● Legal Custody (Decision-Making): This gives a parent the right to make major decisions about the child. This may include decisions regarding the child’s education, medical care, and religious instruction. In most cases, legal custody is awarded to both parents--that would be called joint legal custody.
● Physical Custody (Parenting Time): This custody is granted to the parent(s) whom the child will live with. In most cases, physical custody is shared between the parents.
● Joint Custody: This is when both parents share custody of the child.
● Sole Custody: This is when only one parent has custody of the child. This might mean that the other parent won’t be able to make important decisions about the child’s life or won’t have overnight parenting time with them.
Every family is different, so every parenting time schedule is unique. There are many different parenting time arrangements that can be utilized or ordered by the Court. Most parents share equal or almost equal parenting time, and alternate weekends and holidays. Your parenting time arrangement may depend on your situation, work schedule, the age of your child(ren), living arrangements, school schedules and other factors. We can help walk you through the possible outcomes and solutions for your situation.
Call Our Colorado Child Custody Attorneys Today!
Child custody cases quickly become complex. Both parents may have different wishes and it can become a stressful situation. If you’re going through a custody battle, you need an experienced attorney on your side who can help you. The Colorado child custody lawyers at Law Office of Alexandra White, PC have years of experience helping families with their child custody cases. We know that every case is unique, so we tailor your case to your specific needs, and work hard to try to help you achieve your desired outcome. Let our team help you every step of the way.
Contact us today at (303) 647-4245 to schedule a consultation!