We help clients determine the best way to reach a child custody agreement that is beneficial for the family. When our clients understand all of the options available, it increases the chances of them arranging a child custody agreement that best suits the needs of the children.
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A Successful Child Custody Agreement Starts With the Best Interests of The Child
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Custody of Children
In Colorado, custody of the children consists of two parts: decision-making ability and parenting time. Decision-making refers to which parent has the right to make major decisions in the lives of their children. Colorado courts like to see the parents share joint decision-making for their children, although this is not appropriate in all cases. Joint decision-making would mean that parents have to agree on major decisions as related to the children’s education, healthcare, and other major aspects of their lives. Joint decision-making arrangements require a collaborative effort between the parents. Decision-making is determined on a case by case basis, and in some situations the court may award one parent sole decision-making for the children.
Tough But Fair
Colorado Legal Group’s child custody lawyers handle child custody cases throughout Colorado with the goal of arranging child custody agreements that best suit the needs of the children. Simply, we help our clients create child custody agreements that are beneficial for the family. If the child custody issues became contentious however, we are prepared to fight aggressively on our clients’ behalf.
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How Much Time You’ll Have With Your Child
Parenting Time and Visitation
Parenting time, on the other hand, is where the children physically reside during the week/weekend, during summers and other major holidays. Parents can share equal parenting time or make alternate agreements. If the children are with one parent for a majority of the time, that parent is typically referred to as the “primary custodian,” or “primary parent.” If the parents cannot agree on parenting time, a judge will examine a set of factors related to the best interests of the children and determine parenting time accordingly.
How The Courts Decide Custody
The Best Interests of the Child
The standard by which the court will determine child custody is what is in “the best interests of the child.” In order to minimize the trauma of divorce and an unhealthy custody arrangement, the parties should always remain focused on this standard, taking into account such things as the age of the children, their emotional well-being, and their present and former relationships with each parent.
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Frequently Asked Questions From our Denver Child Custody Lawyers
Are child custody records public?
As a general rule, documents filed in a divorce case are a matter of public record. In other words, unless a case is sealed, anyone can go to the courthouse and get a copy of any pleading filed in any case. While these are not custody “records,” the parties’ custody agreement and parenting plan are public records. Divorce cases are rarely, if ever, sealed by the court.
Can child custody cases be appealed?
Child custody can be appealed in certain instances but more often clients are better suited asking to modify existing orders to suit the changing needs of a family. A parenting plan that is in the best interests of very young children (2 and 3) often needs to be revised as the children get older and circumstances change.
How long do child custody cases take?
The length of a child custody case depends on several different factors. The more parties can agree on the best interests of the children, the faster cases conclude. A contentious custody case tends to take longer as often parties must wait on expert reports and the court’s calendar to fit the case in.
What is the legal standard the court uses to make a custody award?
The courts in Colorado use the “best interests of the child” standard in determining custody arrangements for divorcing parties.
Should I talk to my child about who she/he wants to live with?
Our firm believes that a child should never be put in the position of choosing one parent over the other. This can have lasting, negative effects on children. Instead, we believe that working with the parents, staying focused on the best interests of the children, and sometimes using third party neutrals, is a far better way to resolve custody disputes.
What is a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator?
A parental responsibilities evaluation (PRE) is an evaluation conducted by an expert, which can involve psychological testing of the parties, third party collateral interviews, child-parent observations, interviews with the parties, and other techniques that allow the expert to make a custody recommendation to the court. These types of evaluations are not the norm, and are typically only used when the parties cannot make any real progress toward resolving their custody issues and there are significant issues at play, such as serious mental illness and/or substance abuse. A less invasive and less expensive alternative is using a Child and Family Investigator to examine the case and make a recommendation to the court.
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Denver, CO 80210