In the past, the mother was almost always awarded sole physical custody, and the father would need to settle for alternative weekends and a few weeknights. But today’s families are much more complex, and require a skillful mediator and an experienced child custody attorney.
In many cases, parenting plans involve a variety of different methods for parents to communicate with their children. For parent-child relationships where one parent lives a few hours away from the children, a concept known as “virtual visitation” is often recommended. It involves the use of webcams and video conferencing tools like Skype for real-time visual communication between parents and children.
While virtual visitation is by no means intended to replace person-to-person interaction, family law attorneys often suggest it as a way to expand a parent’s visitation privileges without a major interruption to a child’s schedule.
The amount of actual parenting time awarded to a non-custodial parent by the Court may depend on a child’s age. For example, children who are under 30 months of age will have few overnight stays with a non-custodial parent because it often causes separation anxiety in small children. Judges usually prefer a more frequent schedule of shorter visits with small children. However, once a child reaches school age, weekends, holidays and summers are often opportune times to schedule visitation with the non-custodial parent. Every other weekend arrangements are more common at this age, and a division of holidays and vacation time during the summer.
As children grow older, they often request more time spent with their friends on weekends, which can throw a wrench into an every-other-weekend schedule. While there is now age at which a minor child in Colorado may decide on his or her own parenting schedule, the judge will often give more credence to the wishes of children as they mature. Instead of a child appearing in Colorado family court with a child custody attorney to request these changes, the court will often appoint an advocate to speak on his or her behalf in court.
A Colorado child custody attorney from the Marrison Family Law LLC can help you get through the complexities of your custody agreement and parenting plan. Contact them today for a free initial consultation.