Child Support Professionals Colorado Springs
Divorce is one of life’s top ten stressors. Add to that the prospect of sharing your children with an absent parent and the stress can become overwhelming.
Negotiating a child custody agreement is perhaps the most important part of the divorce process for couples with children, so it is important to get it right. If you are facing a conflict involving the custody and parenting of your children, the child support & custody staff at Marrison Family Law can help.
Marrison Family Law is a dedicated, experienced family law firm in Colorado Springs. Our legal team knows how to protect your rights as a parent, as well as the best interests of your children.
Legal Child Custody Decision-Making in Colorado
Colorado no longer uses the blanket term “custody.” Rather, parental rights are two-fold, meaning there are two distinct decisions that will need to be made regarding child custody; one being “decision making” – formerly “legal custody”, and the other residential responsibilities.
Legal custody or decision making means a parent will have the right and the obligation to make decisions affecting the child’s upbringing. For example, the parent with legal child custody now known as “sole decision-making” can decide on schooling, religious training, and medical care without the consent of the other parent.
When deciding which parent will make these decisions, the Colorado family court normally starts with the assumption that the decisions should be mutually made. However, in determining the best option, the Colorado family court considers the following factors, among others:
The couples’ ability to cooperate and mutually make decisions
Each parent’s pattern of involvement with the children
Whether there has been spousal or child abuse in the home
Colorado is a state that allows couples to divide the decision-making for the child, reserving some decisions, such as educational decisions, to one parent, and allowing the other parent to determine sports, or music, for example. Generally, however, Colorado family courts will presume that the parents can make decisions jointly and parents must consult and agree before any major life decisions are made.
Physical Custody & Visitation Rights
Residential parental responsibility, formerly called “physical custody” determines where the child will live. Generally, the parent with whom the child generally lives will have sole residential custody, with parenting time, i.e. visitation rights, given to the other parent.
An important element of any parenting or child custody agreement is to specify the amount of parenting time awarded to the non-custodial parent.
When the child support court is involved in determining parenting time, it considers at least seven factors, which include:
The parents’ wishes
The wishes of the child, if they are old enough
Interrelationships between parents, children, and siblings
The mental and physical well-being of everyone involved
A parent’s ability to encourage love, affection and consistent contact between the child and the other parent
Any history of child abuse or spousal abuse in the home
Each party’s willingness to place their child’s needs above their own
Some couples will seek a shared parenting plan, which was formerly known as a joint custody arrangement. Under this type of parenting plan, each parent spends significant amounts of time with the child. This arrangement works best when the parents live relatively close to each other.
Work with Reputable Child Custody Professionals
If you are seeking guidance from good child support professionals in the Colorado Springs area, look no further. Call Marrison Family Law today, at (719) 577-9292. We will answer your child custody questions and help you determine your best course of action. Get the advice you need to make the best choices for you and your family.