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How Do Colorado Judges Award Custody and Parenting Time?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Any experienced judge knows that the question of parental responsibility is a very sensitive one, so they usually try to base any decisions on what is in the child’s best interests.  While this may seem a bit vague, Colorado laws address this issue head-on. 

Your Colorado Springs child custody attorney can help interpret the law to help you win your case, but here is the basic gist of it.
 
Judges in Colorado make every effort to see that each parent gets “frequent and continuing contact” with their children, unless one parent is shown to present a psychological or physical threat to the child’s well being.  In some custody battles, particularly when there is a nasty divorce, parents try to show the opposing parent to be unfit, abusive, or dangerous in some way.  However, Colorado courts will need to see explicit evidence of this, such as convictions for abuse or criminal behavior, to be convinced of its validity.

Even a drunk driving conviction can be included as evidence, especially if one of the children was in the car at the time of the arrest. If convincing evidence is presented that shows one parent to be a danger to the children, a judge may order supervised parenting time and award more parental responsibility and parenting time to the other parent.  In cases where there has been abuse, the court will make decisions about custody unless or until the parents are able to make parenting decisions together without any physical confrontation with the abused child or parent. 

Remember, in cases of contested custody, the judge is likely to consider how well the parties cooperate in joint parenting decision.  They can also base decisions on whether they believe the relationship with the children is nourishing and positive.  If giving the parents joint decision-making authority affects either parent’s ability to have frequent contact with the children, Colorado courts can rescind that authority. 

If you are unsure about how to move forward with your child custody case, and believe you have a challenging road ahead, it makes sense to consult with an experienced Colorado Springs child custody attorney.

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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