Raising children is one of the most important jobs that parents have in Colorado. This is true whether the parents are together or divorced. However, how people raise their children differs depending on whether they are together or not. If the parents are divorced generally how they split responsibilities is determined by the child custody order that comes from the divorce.
Child custody determines which parent will make the decisions for the children or whether the parents will share that responsibility jointly. There is also another aspect of these orders and that is that they will determine parenting time schedules. Parenting time is when each parent will have the children in their care. Both of these determinations are based on what is in the best interests of the child.
In order to determine what is in the best interests of the child, the court will analyze a number of different factors and how they apply to the family. These factors include, but are not limited to, the wishes of the parents; the wishes of the child, if they are mature enough; the child’s relationship with each parent as well as their siblings; the child’s adjustment and familiarity with a school; the mental and physical health of each parent and the child; whether there has been domestic abuse in the home and who is responsible for the abuse; a parent’s ability to promote the child’s relationship with the other parent and other factors.
There are many issues that need to be resolved during a divorce in Colorado. One of the most important ones for parents is the custody and parenting time determinations. These dictate when they will see their children and whether they have a say in the decisions made about their children. They are also very fact-specific decisions based on the circumstances of each individual family. Experienced attorneys understand the importance of these decisions and may be a useful resource.