Denver Child Custody Q & A’s
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Q: What does child custody mean?
A: Child custody is a term that Courts have moved away from; however, generally, in a divorce or custody proceeding both parenting time and decision making responsibilities must be allocated between the parents of a minor child.
Q: What do I file to get custody of my child if I have never been married to the other parent?
A: Generally, you would file a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in your local district Court. You could also file a Petition for Paternity in Juvenile Court.
Q: What will a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities do?
A: An Allocation for Parental Responsibilities or “APR” case will decide parenting time, decision making, and child support.
Q: What will a Petition for Paternity do?
A: A Petition for Paternity will determine paternity, child support, parenting time and decision making. This may be necessary if the father of the child has denied being the child’s biological parent. Usually, a DNA test will be ordered to determine paternity.
Q: What will the Judge look at in determining parenting time for a child?
A: Judges will look at the individual facts of each case, including, but not limited to: location of the parents in relation to one another, location of schools, both parent’s work schedules, past parenting time, home environment of parents, parents’ ability to foster the relationship between child and other parent, parents’ ability to put the child’s needs ahead of their own, and possibly what the child would like. However, the legal standard is the “best interests of the child.”
Q: What is included in Decision Making?
A: Generally, parental decision making includes religion, education, health and welfare of the child. Day to day decision making would likely include all other decisions. Usually the parent with custody of the child that day would make day to day decisions for their child.