Taking The Child’s Wishes Into Consideration
Regarding child custody (parental responsibility) cases in Colorado, the court strives to ensure that the child's best interests are considered. One factor that the Court will consider is the wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule. This blog will discuss the criteria and requirements for children to share their preferences in child custody cases in Colorado. It will also provide information on how the court considers these preferences and why it is crucial for parents and guardians to understand their rights when entering a child custody agreement.
The Age When Children Can Share
In Colorado, the age when children can share their child custody preferences is when he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule. Most people think this is 12 years old, but it is different for each child. The child must be of sufficient age and maturity to understand the implications of their decision and how it may affect the case’s outcome. If the child is not sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule, then their preference will not be considered in child custody proceedings, though the child’s views may be taken into account in other ways.
How the Court Uses This Information
When a child is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule and willing to share their child custody preference with the court, they will have an opportunity to express their opinion. In some cases, this may be before a judge or magistrate, and in other cases, this may be before a parenting professional appointed in the case. The court may consider this preference when making child custody decisions, though it is not the only factor considered. The factors that the Court considers are outlined in C.R.S. 14-10-124.
It is essential to understand that a child's preference is not necessarily dispositive in child custody cases in Colorado. The court does not have to follow the child's preference, no matter how strong it may be. It is solely up to the court's discretion to determine if and how much weight to give the child's opinion in each case.
Why Parents Need to Know Their Rights
Parents need to know their rights when entering child custody proceedings in Colorado. This includes understanding when and how the court will consider their child's preference. It is important for parents to have an open dialogue with their child and to talk about what child custody arrangements may be best for everyone involved. However, talking with your child about their preference is a sensitive matter and may best be done with the help of a professional.
It is also important for parents to understand that child custody proceedings are in place to ensure the child's best interests. The child should always be placed in the most suitable environment, and this may be different from what they prefer. Ultimately, it is up to the court to make child custody decisions based on their evaluation of all relevant factors.
Working With a Child Custody Attorney
If you need help navigating a child custody matter, the team at Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. is ready to help you. Kids come first, and we always work to ensure their best interests are met.
Learn more about how we can help you with your child custody matter in Colorado or schedule a consultation by calling (719) 212-4227 or visiting us online.