Parenting Responsibilities/Child Custody
Colorado Springs Child Custody AttorneysColorado uses the term parental responsibilities to refer to child custody. The court looks at a number of factors when determining the amount of time a child will have allocated to his or her parents. An even split of time does not work for all families, and so the court evaluates what would be best for the child and not necessarily what the parents want. In many cases, and in a perfect world, the parents would each want full custody of their child or children. However, in reality they may each only have a certain amount of time with them per year.
What Are Childs Rights?The court puts emphasis on the following factors when determining parental responsibilities:
- The wishes of the child or children
- The wishes of each parent
- The relationship the child has with each parent and other guardians in his or her life
- The adjustments that the child would need to make in a new school, new home, or new environment or community
- The health — both mentally and physically — of all children and parents involved
What Is the Difference Between Joint Custody and Full Custody?Many divorces inColorado are uncontested, which means that both parents play a role in determining how custody of their children will be divided. In the vast majority of cases, this results in equally shared custody, with the parent remaining in the former household having more physical custody, and the other parent having full visitation rights and equal legal custody. The only time Colorado courts will grant full custody to a parent, both physically and legally, is when one of the parents is accused or convicted for physical abuse and/or domestic violence. In situations like this, the victimized parent will always receive full custody.Once there is no longer danger to the former spouse or child, the parent without custody can appeal the court’s decision to try and gain some custody and visitation rights.
The Best Way to Divide Child CustodyWhen determining and/or modifying custody, the custody plan must include:
- An agreement between the parents or guardians involved
- A basic time schedule that outlines the time in which the child or children will spend with each parent on a regular and future basis
- A holidays and vacation time schedule, including school and personal vacation time
- A provision that allocates decision-making responsibilities and the rights of each parent — this is when primary custody would be determined or not
- A foundation plan for resolving any potential, future disputes