When divorcing parents disagree on a parenting plan and instead arrive in a Colorado court for a resolution on parenting planning, judges establish these conclusions on the children’s best interest (Bishop, “Child Custody in Colorado: Best Interests of the Child”). Colorado law acknowledges that it is usually in the child’s best interest to have regular contact with both parents and both parents must take part in raising the child. Neither parent starts with a superior right to custody than the other. Judges can take into account any issue applicable to custody, with help from issues specified in state law, separated into fundamental classes.
Wellbeing and Security
While guaranteeing regular contact with both parents is essential, it is inferior to the significance of guaranteeing a child’s bodily security. A judge will take into account any matters that might influence the child’s bodily health, as well as proof that a parent is responsible for domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect. In a few cases, the judge will demand supervised visitation; in an intense case, a parent might be completely refused contact.
Emotional and Developmental Requirements
The policy preferring regular contact with both parents is additionally inferior to the significance of stopping any considerable harm to a child’s emotional development. In taking into account a child’s emotional and developmental requirements, a court will evaluate the intensity of the contact between the child and each parent in addition to each parent’s previous involvement pattern in child care.
Judges insist on parents putting their children’s needs first and will take into account the extent to which a parent has pledged time to a child and supplied the child with emotional help. A court will continuously offer credence to the parents’ inclinations concerning parenting time and might also take into account the inclinations of a child who is older and more mature to assert an able and self-sufficient partiality.
Courts are inclined to prefer agreements that preserve constancy in a child’s home life, reduce interruption to school and community activities, and maintain contact with individuals who are significant to the child, mainly brothers and sisters. A court might also take into account how far the parent’s homes are from each other. While this is mainly a sensible concern, extensive distance or regular travel between homes might impact the child’s school and social activities.
Parenting Seminars and Mediation
Colorado law strongly emphasizes each parent’s capacity and motivation to promote a constructive relationship and guarantee regular contact between the child and the other parent. Colorado courts often expect divorcing parents to go to parenting seminars to acquaint themselves with the effect of separation and divorce on both adults and children and obtain some necessary training in co-parenting skills.
Parents have the chance to work out their own parenting planning and if they cannot, they must go to custody mediation sessions prior to being permitted to begin a disputed court procedure. If parents still disagree after mediation, the judge will take into account each parent’s claims and work out a parenting plan.
Legal custody signifies a parent’s right to formulate basic choices concerning the child’s wellbeing, as well as decisions concerning education and health. Physical custody indicates the child’s bodily appearance with a parent. A Colorado court might instruct parents to split decision-making duty, charge that one parent have sole legal custody, or partition decision-making duty and offer each parent parental power over specific facets of the child’s life.
Whether parents split joint legal custody relies on whether they can work together and mutually decide; whether the parent’s previous involvement pattern with the child mirrors an equally caring setting; whether the parents can collaborate to offer a constructive and healthful relationship with the child; and whether any specific assignment of power will be more possible to ease regular contact between the child and both parents. A court will unusually charge joint legal custody in a case where a parent has been proven to be violent or careless.
Physical custody is distinctive from legal custody, and a judge who confers joint legal custody does not have to also charge joint physical custody. The judge might, as an alternative, realize that it is better for the child to have one main physical home and expend specific time periods at the other parent’s home—sole legal custody with visitation rights. If the parents are going to have moderately equivalent parent time, the court would charge joint physical custody.