Protecting a Child's Best Interests in Colorado Courts
How Divorce Impacts Kids
Divorce can be an incredibly challenging experience for everyone involved, but this is especially true for children. Watching their family fall to pieces, they often suffer considerable emotional trauma and distress as they wonder what the future holds. The months and years following the divorce can also be highly stressful, as they struggle to adjust to life with parents who live apart, possibly splitting their time between two homes and often dealing with the fact that their parents on not on friendly terms. The family law courts in Colorado Springs and throughout the state attempt to soften the impact of divorce by seeking an arrangement of child custody and visitation that serves the best interests of the children.
How is the child's best interest determined?
State law specifically addresses this subject with Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-124 (2012), "Best interests of child." The law considers that it is beneficial for both parents to play a full and active role in the lives of the children, provided that this will not place the children at risk of suffering any type of emotional or physical harm.
Factors that the judge is directed to consider when determining what type of custody arrangement is in the children's best interests include the following:
- Each parent's wishes, as well as the wishes of the child, provided that he or she is mature enough to express such a preference
- The quality of each parent's existing relationship with the child, including the amount of time spent with the child and the parties' level of interaction
- What is the child's current level of adjustment to school, the home, and the local community
- Each parent's physical and mental health (though a parent's disability is not to be used as a prejudicial factor)
- Each parent's willingness to foster a loving and meaningful relationship between the child and the other parent
- Any history of domestic violence or child abuse
- How willing each parent is to place the child's needs ahead of his or her own
Similar considerations apply both in allocating the amount of time that the children will spend in the physical custody of each parent, as well as awarding authority for making important decisions affecting the children's education, health care, and similar matters.
How a Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney Can Help
At Clawson & Clawson, LLP, we fully understand just how important it is for you to maintain your role as a parent and to ensure that your children's best interests are served both during and after the divorce. When we represent a parent in divorce, we take every possible precaution to avoid a lengthy and heated custody battle that has the potential to cause everyone involved a great deal of emotional distress.
Our goal is to make a powerfully compelling case on your behalf to demonstrate to the judge that it would be most beneficial for your children to spend as much time as possible with you and for you to be given a large say in making important decisions about their upbringing.
Let us put our skill and dedication to work for you. Contact our Colorado Springs divorce attorneys now for a free consultation.