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Child Custody Attorney in Colorado Springs

How Child Custody Is Decided in Colorado

When parents divorce, the question of who will receive child custody is often the most contentious issue in the case. Whether the divorce is settled through negotiations out of court or is decided by a judge, the matter of child custody has the potential to make the process drag on, subjecting everyone involved to considerable financial and emotional strain.

In any divorce between parents, the guiding principle in deciding the questions of custody and visitation is the children's best interests. The goal is to arrive at an arrangement for parental responsibilities and parenting time that makes it possible for the children to spend as much time as possible with both parents, provided that this would not pose a risk of emotional or physical danger to the children.

Factors that the court will consider when determining an acceptable plan for child custody include:

  • Each parent's wishes
  • The wishes of the children, provided that they are mature enough to make an informed decision on the matter
  • Each parent's existing relationship with the children, as well as how much of a role he or she plays in the children's lives
  • The degree to which each parent is willing to foster a quality relationship between the children and the other parent
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence or child abuse

Physical vs. Legal Child Custody

Title 14 of the Colorado Revised Statutes explains all laws regarding the dissolution of marriages including child custody laws. In the state of Colorado, a distinction is made between physical and legal custody. If a parent has physical custody, whether sole or joint, that means the child or children live under that parent's roof. In joint custody agreements, children typically spend certain nights at one parent's house and the rest of the week at the other parent's house.

Legal custody references which parent has the right to make decisions that affect the child's life, such as what school they will go to and what type of medical treatment they can receive. With some divorce, separation or parenting agreements, parents share both physical and legal custody.

Joint Child Custody

In Colorado, many parents who do not live together will enter into some sort of a joint custody agreement. Joint does not always mean equal. It means that both parents have some right to have their child/children live with them. These arrangements vary greatly depending on the needs of the child/children.

For example, some parents can alternate weeks of physical custody. Others might choose to have the child/children live with one parent on the weekdays and the other parent on the weekends. Complications can arise when parents disagree as to who should have custody and what that arrangement should look like.

At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, our Colorado Springs divorce lawyers can help you come to the most favorable conclusion for your child custody agreement.

Clawson & Clawson, LLP Fighting for Your Parental Rights

Your Colorado Springs family law attorney has the task of presenting a compelling case for why the children would be better off spending more time in your custody based on evidence about your character, your spouse's character, and the testimony of other parties. At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we have more than 100 years of combined experience fighting to defend our clients' rights, and an attorney from our firm is ready to meet with you to evaluate your options and give you an unbiased opinion of your case.

We can also help you petition for a modification to an existing child custody order, such as if you need to relocate or if you are concerned about your children's safety with the other parent. Contact us today to discuss your case.


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