Lakewood Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody cases are emotionally charged, and while everyone wants what is best for the child, not everyone agrees on what that might be. At Divorce Matters®, we understand that child custody cases are complex and multifaceted. Colorado refers to child custody as parental responsibilities because these cases encompass both parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. If you are involved in a parenting battle over spending time with your child or making choices that impact their future, one of our experienced Lakewood child custody attorneys can guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.
What is Taken into Consideration When Determining Child Custody in Colorado
The court always takes into account the child’s best interests when deciding which parent they will live with, or whether joint custody or visitation is best. Fathers have equal rights when it comes to custody these days, unlike times of the past when mothers were nearly always given sole custody rights. Only the child’s best interests are taken into account, which is usually joint custody. But what does “the child’s best interests” mean? According to Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-124, the following considerations will be taken when determining a parenting plan post-divorce:
- The child’s adjustment to home, community, and school;
- The child’s relationship to parents, siblings, and other family members who may be closely involved post-divorce;
- How close the parents live to each other and how viable it is for the child to travel between locations;
- The wishes of the parents;
- The requests of the children if they are old enough to understand;
- Any history of domestic violence or emotional abuse with either parent;
- Who has previously invested the most time into the growth of their child; and
- Any special needs that the child may have.
These factors influence what the schedule becomes for child visitation in addition to simply determining who has child custody.
Different Types of Custody and Visitation
There are various types of family plans and custody agreements in Colorado, including the following:
- Sole legal custody – Only one parent has legal decision-making rights about their child’s education, living arrangement, healthcare, and other decisions;
- Joint custody – Both parents have legal custody;
- Physical custody – This is the parent that the child lives with;
- Split custody – One child (or children) lives with the mother and the other child (or children) lives with the father, and each of the parents has respective legal decision-making regarding the children that live with them.
- Visitation rights – The non-custodial parent has court-ordered periods of visitation. Once the court’s decision has been made, these are not up for debate with the custodial parent, who cannot legally intervene in these visitations.
In addition to considering who will be responsible for your child’s physical location, you and your former spouse must decide who make decisions regarding their child’s health and future. A parenting plan will include who makes decisions regarding:
- Choice of school;
- Extracurricular activities;
- Medical and dental care; and
- General welfare.
Contact an Experienced Lakewood, CO Child Custody Lawyer Today
The Lakewood child custody attorneys of Divorce Matters® are here to represent your rights, advocate on your behalf, and ensure that your child’s best interests are adhered to during an upcoming child custody hearing. Contact us today so that we may begin gathering evidence, preparing you for your day in court, and building your case for an optimal outcome.
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Why not start exploring your options? Call us at 720.542.6142 to schedule your consultation with one of our experienced Denver divorce attorneys today.
Our highly-accomplished divorce and family law attorneys practice throughout Colorado, including: Adams County (Arvada, Aurora, Brighton, Thornton, Westminster); Arapahoe County (Aurora, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Englewood, Greenwood Village, Littleton); Boulder County; Broomfield County; Denver County; Douglas County (Castle Rock, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker); Elbert County (Elizabeth, Kiowa); and Jefferson County (Arvada, Golden, Lakewood, Morrison, Wheat Ridge).