When couples consider getting divorced, they often have no idea how difficult the process can be. This is particularly true when there are children involved. If you are fighting for custody of your children, then a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer can help. Meanwhile, follow these tips for the most successful outcome.
When we hear the term “terminate parental rights”, it usually refers to one of two things. In the case of an adoption, parents will need to terminate their parental rights in order for the adoption to become legal. But in criminal cases, where parents are charged with child abuse or neglect, they may lose their parental rights involuntarily.
A court-imposed termination of parental rights is not necessary for parents who choose to forego visitation and live apart from their children. Under most circumstances, the court would only get involved in parental rights issues when a parent becomes a danger to his or her child.
There’s no doubt that grandparents play an increasingly important role in the life of a child. In fact, one recent study from the University of Chicago and the National Institute on Aging says that some 60 percent of grandparents served as caregivers to grandchildren over a ten year period.
It’s no wonder that the number of involved grandparents would make them want to fight for visitation rights after their children get divorced.
As a grandparent, you should know your rights for visitation and custody.
Family law attorneys may spend most of their time dealing with divorce, child custody and support issues, but parental rights are another area that falls into their domain. In addition to giving parents physical rights to spend time with a child, parental rights also include the right to decide on the type of education, religion, health care and morals a child should have. Beyond that, these rights also come with responsibilities, which include providing the children with clothing, food and shelter and all necessary child support, healthcare, etc.
When a couple with children gets divorced, it is easy to find information on the custody laws in your state, but when unmarried parents go their separate ways, a different set of rules apply. Seeking legal help for a custody issue in a non-divorce case may require the help of a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer.
Even after many years in my career as a Colorado Springs divorce attorney specializing in child support, I probably should not be, but am still amazed at the lengths that some non-custodial parents will go to avoid paying child support. The major thing I find so disturbing about this ongoing trend is that it reveals the lack of character and responsibility that comes out in some parents when faced with the reality of supporting their kids after a divorce. While not every parent who is not keeping up with their child support payments is intentionally avoiding them, the problem of parents shirking their legal and moral responsibility towards their children needs to be addressed.
Each state has their own laws and judicial mandates regarding parental rights. This article is a discussion of Colorado family law as it applies to children or parents residing in the state and also is informative for the military families based in and around our Colorado Springs family law offices.
This is the final article in a 5 part case study reviewing a battle for child custody in Colorado. If you'd like to review this series from the beginning start with Child Custody Case Study - Part 1 or review the case study facts.
Judge Bristol changed both Maggie Bright's residential custody and decision-making authority without applying Colorado law necessary when prior court orders are modified.
Was there any way that Judge Bristol's decision complied with Colorado law for modifications?
When any Colorado trial court first wades into the muck that is contested child custody when parents separate, the rules applied to key issues like decision-making and residential custody are vastly different than if those decisions are changed years after the parents' separation is finalized.
At first glance, however, that difference in Colorado law didn't seem to apply to Maggie Bright's case.
THE COURT AND CASE EVALUATOR CASUALLY DISREGARDED AND EVEN TWISTED AROUND REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE AGAINST THE FATHER
When a child is abused by a parent, most people have a difficult time even getting their heads around the idea. How could a grown person commit such an act against an innocent child, particularly one that is so young and trusting?
Maggie Bright had those exact thoughts when she presented her evidence of child abuse to the court. When she presented her testimony before Judge Bristol, she was sure that the facts, her supporting evidence and suspicions would at least get a fair hearing. But they didn’t.
Marrison Family Law first had to figure out why Judge Bristol and the evaluator Dr. Holmes ignored her abuse claims. Was she a bad witness? Did the state do an incomplete abuse investigation? Was the father’s evidence that strong? There had to be some reason, and answers needed to be found.
This is part 3 of the Child Custody Case Study. To have the best understanding of this case study please refer back to the previous articles starting with this one - Child Custody Case Study: The Facts
Part 3 covers how the court failed to give Maggie Bright enough parenting time, and ignored a public policy to facilitate frequent and regular contact between parents and their children.
When Judge Bristol came back with his bombshell orders of April 1 and April 20, 2012, there was not a single earlier decision about custody, parenting and decision-making that was left untouched.
Maggie Bright was shocked. But in the midst of this shock, her attorneys at Marrison Family Law saw judicial error and opportunity. They strongly suggested that Judge Bristol’s decision was an abuse of discretion and against public policy when so little parenting time was awarded to Maggie, and so heavily restricted for little apparent reason.