The preference of the courts in Colorado is for joint custody of children, unless circumstances exist which do not warrant joint decision-making (e.g. domestic violence).
The court generally views a child’s “best interests” as involving both parents in decision-making. This is decision-making related to major medical, educational, religious, and extracurricular decisions. Day-to-day decisions are made by the parent that has the children in his/her care.
A “primary residential parent” may be designated, but this is not a substitute for decision-making, a “primary residential parent” could still have joint decision-making.
Joint decision-making is encouraged, but not always possible or always in the best interests of the children. There are no hard and fast rules. Decisions of the court are always case-specific but every chance will be given for joint custody.
Sole decision-making means one parent has the ability to determine major decisions on behalf of the children on his/her own without the agreement of the other parent.