Divorce is never easy, but especially not when children are involved. If you are preparing yourself for the process of divorce, the only way to make the experience a bit easier is to familiarize yourself with Colorado Child Custody Laws before you appear in court. When a family law court is determining who will be granted custody when parents of a child are divorcing, several criteria will be used to determine what choice is in the best interests of the child. Read on and learn about some of the factors that will be used to determine which household is likely to become a child’s primary home based on child custody laws in the state of Colorado.
How is Best Interests of the Child Determined?
Best interests of the child may seem to be a subjective choice, but this is why several factors are considered. It is important to realize that no court in Colorado will discriminate against a parent because of their gender when awarding custody. Rather than considering gender, the court will consider:
* The child’s wishes and the parent’s individual wishes
* The mental health of the parties
* The physical health of each parent
* Relationships between the child and people in the household
* How easily the child can adjust to their new home/school
Granting Joint Custody to Divorcing Couples
In an ideal world, when divorce is the only feasible option, each parent will be awarded joint custody so that they can maintain constant contact with their child. While this is the preferred way to handle child custody issues, joint custody is not always possible. In order for a judge in Colorado to consider joint custody, the following must be true:
* The parents can coparent and make decisions jointly
* Both parents have an encouraging and loving relationship with their child
* Each parent has a household where the child can be sufficiently cared for
Setting Visitation Rights for Parents Who Do Not Have Custody
Some parties will not contest custody determinations because they do not want full custody, but these parents often fight for visitation. In the state of Colorado, visitation is referred to as parenting time. The amount of time that is awarded depends on the following:
* Relationships between child and parent
* Relationships and influence of siblings
* The parent’s wishes
* How close parents live to one another
* Whether or not the child’s needs are put first
Now that you are familiar with Colorado Child Custody Laws, you are better prepared to defend yourself in court. Consider what is best for your child and what you prefer, and represent yourself properly in court.