Determining What is Best for a Child
If you are going through a divorce and have children, custody will be one of the most important issues to resolve. How custody is determined can have a major impact on the lives of both parents and their children. In this blog post, we will discuss the basics of child custody in Colorado, including the types of custody, how visitation works, and why it is important to have an attorney represent you in court.
An Important Terminology Note
Before beginning, one key thing to note is that while child custody is the more well-known term, Colorado does not use this term. In Colorado, the term used is "allocation of parental responsibility" to refer to the same concept.
Types of Parental Responsibility in Colorado
There are three types of parental responsibility in Colorado: sole, joint, and shared.
Sole parental responsibility means that one parent is responsible for making all decisions about the child's welfare, including decisions about education, healthcare, and religion.
Joint Parental Responsibility
Joint parental responsibility means that both parents must consult with each other on major decisions about the child's welfare and come to an agreement together. If the parents cannot agree, then a court will make the decision for them.
Shared Parental Responsibility
Shared parental responsibility is a mix of the two previous types and is the most common type of arrangement in Colorado. Under this arrangement, both parents have a say in major decisions about the child's welfare, but some decisions may be delegated to one parent or the other.
How is Parental Responsibility Determined in Colorado?
The court will always make its decision about parental responsibility based on what is in the best interests of the child. There are a number of factors that the court will consider when making this determination, including:
The relationship between each parent and the child.
The ability of each parent to meet the child's needs.
The child's wishes (if the child is old enough to express a preference).
Each parent's mental and physical health.
Any history of domestic violence or abuse by either parent.
It is important to note that even if one parent has sole or joint parental responsibility, the other parent still has certain rights when it comes to their child. These rights include the right to:
Receive information about the child's welfare, including medical and school records.
Be notified of any major decisions made about the child.
Attend school functions and extracurricular activities.
Spend time with the child (visitation).
Visitation in Colorado
If one parent has sole or joint parental responsibility, the other parent is still entitled to visitation with their child. The amount and type of visitation will be determined by the court based on what is in the best interests of the child. In some cases, supervised visitation may be ordered if there are concerns about one parent's ability to care for or interact with their child.
The Importance of a Child Custody Attorney
If you are going through a divorce and have children, it is important to have an attorney represent you in court. An experienced child custody attorney will be familiar with the laws in Colorado and can help you understand your rights and options. They can also help you negotiate with the other parent and their attorney to reach an agreement that is in their best interests.
At Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., kids always come first. We know how difficult cases involving children can be, which is why we are committed to helping parents work through the legal challenges and reach a solution that meets their needs and the needs of their children.
Learn more about parental responsibility in Colorado or schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling (719) 212-4227 or by visiting our website.