Moran & Associates Family Law

COLORADO CHILD CUSTODY FAQ'S

ARE THERE PUBLISHED CHILD CUSTODY GUIDELINES FOR COLORADO?

Yes, Colorado Revised Legislation, Title 14 – Domestic Matters includes regulations related to child custody issues for divorcing or separating parents. You should familiarize yourself with these laws before searching for a child custody lawyer near me, and use them while drafting any child or parenting strategy.

Title 14 contains quite a bit of detail. It contains legislation on child care, parental duties, judicial processes, and also includes meanings for common legal terminology. Following the Colorado Revised Statutes, you will get a good sense of what the that of Colorado looks for concerning the best interests of your child.

WHAT WORDS ARE USED TO DEFINE "CUSTODY" AND "VISITATION" IN COLORADO?

If you focus on the parental strategy, you may need to be acquainted with the words in (14-10-103) of the Colorado Revised Statutes.

The word “parenting time” applies to the periods a father has with the child aside from the other parent. Only before 1993, it was named “visitation”. “Visitation” is still used, but “parenting time” is most commonly used by the courts.
Parental responsibility is the term used to define the privileges and duties of each parent to the child.

The court introduced the phrase “parental responsibilities” in 1999 and substituted different words within the custody agreement. When parents cannot agree on child custody issues, they have the option of letting the judge rule. The judge will decide the terms of the custody agreement based on the child’s best interests.

IS COLORADO'S STANCE ON CHILD CUSTODY IMPARTIAL?

child custody faqsYes, the State of Colorado requires parents to share the privileges and obligations of parenting their children and promote and support the close and affectionate relationships they have with them.
A great approach to assessing parental time and obligations is to include an impartial third party who will assist in child custody and parenting time discussions between them. If you can’t find an understanding with the other parent of your children, the court will designate an advocate as your mediator.
As per section 14-10-124 of the Colorado Revised Legislation, it is in the child’s best interest for a child to have regular and ongoing interaction with both parents. Courts are urging parents to establish an arrangement that each would split the primary obligations for raising children.

When you and the other parent consent to the terms and conditions of the custody agreement, the judge will typically authorize. When parents cannot agree on child custody issues, they have the option of letting the judge rule. The judge will decide the terms of the custody agreement based on the child’s best interests.

WHAT ABOUT SEXUAL VIOLENCE OR ASSAULT?

In instances of sexual violence and assault, Colorado recognizes that it is harmful to the child’s well-being to have any further interaction with the offender.

In this case, the courts can rule that a violent or neglectful parent is not permitted to have unsupervised parenting time at all.

WHAT OTHER FACTORS WILL COLORADO USE TO DETERMINE THE CHILD'S BEST INTERESTS?

Under the law of Colorado’s state, the Court shall recognize the various considerations as stated below:

  • Parents’ expectations of the custody agreement.
  • The child’s interests provided the child is capable of making independent decisions. The Court would offer due regard to the needs of the child.
  • The connection the child has with each mom, siblings, and all other individuals may influence his/her welfare.
  • How a child is raised influences the other facets of their existence.
  • Wellbeing of all interested parties. An impairment alone cannot be used to assess a person’s eligibility.
  • The willingness of each parent to promote the child’s deep and ongoing relationships with the other parent.
  • Past pattern of parents in terms of being close to each other and their concern for their children.
  • The proximity of parents to each other as it applies to traditional parenting time schedules.
  • The indication that either parent had been a victim of domestic abuse or either parent was neglectful or violent to the child.
  • Each parent’s capacity to put the need of his/her child above her/his own.

The judge can delegate parenting time, maternal obligations, and decision-making responsibilities due to the child’s best interests.

If the parents understand these issues, the Court will recognize such agreement and grant custody of these children to the parents accordingly (CRS 14-10-124 [7]). Otherwise, the Court would dictate terms for the custody agreement.

WHAT SHOULD BE EMPHASIZED IN A COLORADO PARENTAL CUSTODY AGREEMENT?

A parenting strategy shall conform with all the laws of the country in order to have at least the following elements:

  • Agreements addressing parental obligations.
  • A simple parental strategy mapping out the estimated time span that the child can spend time with and parent.
  • This timetable describes school holiday and weekend dates.
  • A clause that guarantees the privileges and duties of each parent.
  • A strategy to settle conflicts in case a family member becomes upset.

Parents should add any part they want when drafting a parenting plan. Being comprehensive now would allow parents to provide an operating protocol manual for joint parenting in the future. The less friction that takes place between the parents mean more time to invest with your children.