Child Custody Lawyers in Colorado Springs
Child custody is often a major legal and emotional battle for divorcing parents, separating parents, or biological fathers engaged in a paternity case to legally become part of their child’s life. While “custody” is what this issue is commonly called by the public, the state of Colorado no longer refers to it as such. In the interests of bringing a more humane look at where a child will live and who will have legal authority over making major life decisions, the courts term these concepts as “parental responsibility” and “parenting time.”
If you and the other parent cannot agree on how these issues will be determined outside of court, it will be left up to a family court judge to decide. The judge will base their decision on the child(ren)’s best interests. At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, our attorneys bring vast experience, including significant trial experience, to this matter. We can help you negotiate and craft a comprehensive parenting plan that is designed to be fair and will consider the court’s requirement for putting children first.
Connect with our team online or at (719) 602-5888 to schedule a consultation about your case.
Child Custody Laws in Colorado
Title 14 of the Colorado Revised Statutes explains all laws regarding the dissolution of marriages, including child custody laws.
In the state of Colorado, these are the types of custody that are available:
- Physical custody, which involves parenting schedules
- Legal custody, which involves parental responsibility
- Joint vs. sole custody
Factors That Determine Custody Plans
The general goal in custody planning is to arrive at an arrangement 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 child(ren).
Factors that the court will consider when determining custody plans 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 they play 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
Parenting plans should detail responsibilities regarding education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and other vital areas of a child’s life, as well as a schedule of when and how the child will reside with either parent. This schedule may be as close to 50-50 as possible or may designate one parent with more time than the other due to school, daycare, proximity, or work schedule considerations.
Other important provisions can include how to handle emergencies, special occasions, vacations, and more; how the transportation of children between households will be arranged; how children will communicate with parents when residing at the other parent’s home; and how parents can resolve disagreements that may arise.
At What Age Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?
No age for when a judge must listen to a child's wishes has been established. When it comes to deciding custody, children's wishes are considered if they are mature enough to have an independent opinion.
Additional Issues Regarding Custody
After initial custody arrangements have been formally issued, you may need to enforce or modify the existing court order. An example of a need for a modification is when a parent wishes to relocate with shared children. As a parent, you would have to seek or contest such a relocation through the court.
If your co-parent violates any of the terms of your parenting plan, including decision-making or the arranged schedule of overnight visits, you may also seek to have the current order enforced through the court. At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we can provide the representation you need in these matters as well.
For experienced legal assistance with parental responsibility and parenting plans, talk to one of our experienced attorneys by contacting us online or calling (719) 602-5888.