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Denver Divorce Attorneys

Child Custody for Non-Parents

What Is Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

An Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (APR) case establishes custody (parenting time and decision-making) as well as child support for minor children. Unlike a dissolution that establishes parents’ rights for those parents who are married, parents who are not married can use an APR case to establish custody.

Also, a non-parent (a grandparent, aunt/uncle, close friend) can use an APR to affirm parenting time and decision-making for a minor child in his/her custody and control and can affirm those rights against other parties. An APR case can be very important for non-parents caring for minor children as it allows those non-parents to make medical decisions on behalf of the children, enroll them in school, and protect themselves against the claims for parental rights from others.

Bases under which a non-biological parent may seek custody

In most cases, when a non-biological parent has minor children in his/her physical custody for at least 6 months, that person can start an APR case. A non-biological parent can also begin an APR case so long as the children are not in the physical care of the biological parent(s).

Remember a biological parent can also use an APR if he/she is not married to the other parent.

Hiring a Colorado Child Custody Attorney

Even with these bases in mind, it’s crucial to know that as a non-biological parent, you will be facing a steep uphill battle. If you deeply worry about the well-being and best interests of the child and believe the child is even subjected to criminal activity or severe neglect, consult with one of our attorneys to strategize the best course of action and get an idea of what outcomes are realistic.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can child custody be contested?

Sometimes numerous individuals feel they should have the sole, or majority, responsibility and ability to make decisions on behalf of a child. Individuals may also contest where and with whom the child should reside. When these issues arise we would have a contested APR case. The Court will consider the best interests of the children, not necessarily would a certain individual wants in regards to custody.

Can child custody be transferred to another person?

An allocation of parental responsibilities (parenting time, decision-making, and child support) can almost always be modified. So long as the transfer of custody to someone is found to be in the best interests of the child, it is permitted. Sometimes a parent or a party becomes unable to care for a child and in that case custody absolutely should be transferred.

Are custody and guardianship the same?

Custody and guardianship are different. Through a custody proceeding (an APR case) a party can obtain parenting time and decision-making for the minor children. While it might sound similar, a guardianship allows the appointed guardian to make decisions for the well-being of the protected party/ward. The protected party can be an adult or a minor child, but the protected party must lack the ability or capacity to make his/her own decisions.

Denver Divorce Lawyer

Need Help with Allocation of Parental Responsibilities?

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