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Colorado Legal Group Attorneys

Fathers' Rights in Colorado

What Are Fathers’ Rights in Colorado

Finding a Father’s Rights Attorney in Colorado

Today’s legal market is full of law firms touting themselves as “Fathers’ Rights,” lawyers. Many make a wide range of promises that are ultimately unrealistic and not healthy for their clients’ cases or families. The term or category of “Father’s Rights” is actually a bit misleading when it comes to divorce law in the state of Colorado. Men and women have the exact same rights when it comes to divorce and custody. As a father, however, you do need to be aware of the proper strategy to get the best results in your case. There are definitely approaches, techniques and arguments that maximize your ability to obtain a great result as it relates to the custody and proper settlement of your case.

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Father's Rights Colorado

What You Really Need to Know About Fathers' Rights

As previously mentioned, fathers and mothers have exactly the same rights under the laws of Colorado. This does not mean, however, that this will result in a 50-50 custody arrangement for example. Nor is that required under the law. So, what exactly do you need to know about your rights in Colorado?

The first thing is that many courts used to follow a legal principle called “the tender years doctrine.” This meant that the courts followed the idea that mother’s should have custody of very young children. While that doctrine has been abolished, it certainly seems to echo in our courthouses today, and there often seems to be a built in bias against fathers.

It is important to understand then, that is it not enough to merely claim you have equal rights to custody of your children when presenting your case to the court. The court will apply the legal standard of “best interests of the child,” when deciding child custody, and you and your lawyer must be able to present your case properly as it relates to that standard.
Colorado Divorce Attorney

What You Can Do As a Father

To maximize your time with your children in a custody case, you must be able to establish that your proposed custody arrangement is the best interests of your children. This means the more involved you are with the day to happenings in your children’s lives, the better off your case will be, and frankly, this will also be healthier for your children. This means, as early as possible, even before your divorce starts, you should be doing things like helping with homework, being involved in picking up and dropping the children off for school, sporting events, and other activities. If you are separated, it is even more important for you to have some daily involvement in your children’s lives. Many fathers act like “weekend fathers,” and then are shocked when the court doesn’t award 50-50 custody.

One of the most common arguments made against a father having more time with the children is that the parties have difficulty communicating. There are, however, many tools that are now available that use modern technology to help parties co-parent their children effectively. One of these is called Our Family Wizard, which can help coordinate communication with the parties, and can also be used to show the court compliance or non-compliance with court orders. You should always consider these sorts of tools when putting together a parenting plan or making a proposal to the court or opposing party.

So, don’t believe the hype that some lawyers will sell you, that because they are a “Father’s Rights” firm they will somehow get you a great deal. You have to lay the groundwork, and then be able to present your case to the court, or negotiate the right deal with opposing counsel, so that you can maximize your rights, but also create a great custody arrangement for your children as well.
Denver Divorce Lawyer

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are father’s rights for child custody?

All parents have constitutional rights to raise their children how they see fit except in excruciating circumstances. That applies to both fathers and mothers. Under Colorado law, fathers enjoy equal rights and opportunities to the raising of their children. So long as the court determines that it is in the children’s best interests, fathers may enjoy equal or even greater parenting time that the mother.

Can a father’s parental rights be terminated?

A termination of a father’s rights is taken extremely serious by the court. A termination of rights is different than a father’s parenting time or decision-making being temporarily discontinued. Parenting time and decision-making can almost always be modified in the future, but a termination is permanent. It is a very high standard that has to be met to terminate a parent’s rights, whether it is the mother or father.

Do fathers have rights if not married?

Yes, fathers can secure their parental rights even if the father is not married to the mother. Fathers can use an allocation of parental responsibilities case to determine parenting time and decision-making either by the agreement of the parties or through a judicial determination. Child support will also be determined.

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