Littleton Child Custody Lawyers
Child Custody Attorney Serving Families in Littleton, Colorado
If you are currently in the process of getting divorced in Littleton, you may know that you will need to face questions about child custody and your child’s upbringing once the dissolution of the marriage has been finalized. Child custody matters can be extremely difficult emotionally, and it is essential that you work with a dedicated Littleton child custody lawyer who can help to ensure that your voice is heard and that you make the best case for
Understanding the Terms Under the Law in Littleton: Child Custody and Parental Responsibilities
As the Colorado Judicial Branch explains, the term “child custody” is no longer used in the state of Colorado. However, this does not mean that parents are no longer responsible for making important decisions about their child’s upbringing or spending time providing physical care for the child. Rather, the term “custody” has been replaced with the term “parental responsibilities.”
What are parental responsibilities? As Colorado law clarifies (Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 14-10-103), parental responsibilities are what we previously knew as custody, or making significant decisions about the child’s upbringing, while the term “parenting time” refers to visitation, or physical time spent caring for the child.
Colorado Law and the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
Many child custody matters are governed by the Colorado Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 14-13-101 et seq.). In addition, the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (Colo. Rev. Stat. Section 14-10-123 to 14-10-132) provides important statutory guidelines for allocating parental responsibilities. When the court makes a decision about parental responsibilities, it is called an allocation of parental responsibilities. This is a binding court order that parents (or grandparents) need to abide by unless they are able to successfully modify the order at a later date.
In many situations, the court will attempt to allocate parental responsibilities in such a way so that both parents provide equal care for the child and share in making important decisions about the child’s upbringing. This is known as “co-parenting.” However, under certain circumstances, shared co-parenting may not be appropriate.
Best Interests of the Child Standard in Littleton
What factors does the court take into account when determining how to allocate parental responsibilities? In short, it makes a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child. This standard allows the court to consider a variety of factors as it determines parenting time and allocates decision-making responsibilities. Colorado law clarifies that the court should give “paramount consideration to the child’s safety and the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child.” Examples of some factors include:
- Wishes of the parents;
- Wishes of the child if she or he is mature enough to express preferences;
- Interrelation between child and each of the parents;
- Mental and physical health of all of the parties;
- Ability for the parties to encourage continuing contact, love, and affection with the other parent; and
- Evidence of parents’ ability to cooperate with one another on matters concerning the child.
Contact a Littleton Child Custody Lawyer
Do you have questions about child custody and the allocation of parental responsibilities? A child support lawyer in Littleton can help. Contact Divorce Matters to learn more about how our attorneys can assist with your case.
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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).