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Common Visitation Agreements in Colorado

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

blog-logoWhen a couple with children gets divorced, there is nothing that arouses more hostility between them than decisions concerning child custody.  Even the most amicable separations can quickly turn volatile when the parties meet to discuss a parenting plan.  As a Colorado child custody attorney who represents clients in custody battles, I often feel more like a referee than a lawyer.

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.

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