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Shared Child Custody in Colorado

Friday, 20 March 2009

When a Colorado divorce judge decides to establish which parent gets custody of a child in a divorce case, the overriding factor is the best interests of the child, irrespective of which parent is 'right' or 'wrong.'  

Shared child custody overview

When a Colorado divorce judge determines that a child is better off having proper contact with both parents, they award the parents a joint or shared child custody. This is also determined by the current relationship the parents have with each other. If they can't get along, then it is not deemed to be a healthy arrangement.

Statistically, shared custody occurs in around 20% of the cases. Shared custody can take several forms depending on the particular case in question. Let us examine what it means.

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Meaning of shared child custody

There are two different types of custody - legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to the parental responsibilities and determines who has the right to make important decisions for the child in terms of education, religion and health care. Physical custody refers to who the child actually stays with.

Physical shared child custody

The arrangements by which parents share physical custody can vary greatly. They can arrange for the child to spend large amounts of continuous time with each parent like half the year with one, and the other half with the second. Or it can be for short periods like a few days with one parent and a few days with the other.

Since it is difficult to arrange these matters between themselves, both spouses usually negotiate with a court appointed mediator for the process. In case even this mediation breaks down, judges take it upon themselves to formulate what is called a joint parenting plan.

Trends in joint custody

As a greater number of courts begin to realize the importance of both parents to a child (as opposed to just the mother), shared child custody is becoming more and more prevalent. Furthermore, after divorce, one spouse or the other usually find themselves in a position where they are forced to work full time and due to this strain, it is difficult for them to do justice to the needs of a child if there is sole custody.

Children also benefit through joint custody due to the continuous presence of both parents in their lives.

Contacting a professional attorney

In order to effectively represent your needs, you need to choose an experienced attorney who will be able to negotiate a settlement that works best for you. Contact a Marrison Law attorney now to help you with this complex process of shared child custody. There are many loopholes you would not be aware of and can be used by opposing attorneys to get an advantage over you. We will make sure that you remain safe and arrive at a fair resolution of your child custody issues.


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