Colorado Springs Child Visitation Lawyers
Colorado Springs, CO Child Visitation Lawyers Helping Divorced Parents with Physical and Legal Custody Issues
Child custody is one of the most important family law issues to address during divorce. The results of this legal issue will affect how often you see your children, who they live with, and which parent can make important decisions for them. If you want to ensure you get as much time as possible with your children, you need the guidance of a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer.
When you hire a child custody and visitation lawyer from Brighter Day℠ Law, you will have legal representation from a team that is knowledgeable about Colorado child custody laws and truly cares about the outcome of your case. Call our Colorado Springs law office today for a free consultation with experienced child custody lawyers.
Table of Contents
- What Are Parental Responsibilities in Colorado?
- How Does the Colorado Springs Family Court Decide on Parental Responsibilities?
- What Is Visitation?
- What’s a Parenting Plan?
- Why Should You Hire Child Visitation Lawyers in Colorado Springs?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Child Custody and Visitation in Colorado
What Are Parental Responsibilities in Colorado?
Before starting your child custody case, you should know the basics of Colorado child custody laws to prepare to go to family court. First, in Colorado, child custody is the allocation of parental responsibilities. This addresses parenting time, also known as physical custody, and decision-making responsibility, also known as legal custody.
If you’re familiar with physical custody, then you know parenting time refers to the amount of time each parent gets with their children and who they live with. On the other hand, decision-making responsibility gives you the right to make decisions that significantly affect the child’s life. This includes where they will attend school, what religion they will be brought up with, and what medical care they get.
You can pursue either primary or joint parental responsibility with the other parent. But you should know that most judges prefer the latter arrangement, as they want both parents involved in the child’s life as long as it’s in their best interests. If you get joint custody regarding parenting time, the child will spend an equal number of overnight visits with both parents.
By contrast, if the judge gives you primary parental responsibility, you will be considered the primary caregiver or custodial parent. The other parent will be the visiting parent. This means the child will spend less than 90 nights with that parent during the year and the rest of the time with you.
Whether you want joint or primary parental responsibility during your Colorado Springs divorce, you need the legal support of a family law attorney who knows what family court judges consider before giving a court order during a child custody dispute. At our law office, our child custody lawyers have helped numerous clients with complicated child custody cases over the years. Contact our law firm to discuss your options regarding your child custody case.
How Does the Colorado Springs Family Court Decide on Parental Responsibilities?
Most El Paso County family court judges prefer to order shared parental responsibilities so that both parents get equal parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Before creating a child custody order, they consider these factors:
- Each parent’s ability to care for and love the child
- Each parent’s ability to put the child’s needs ahead of their own needs
- The relationship between the child and each parent
- The physical and mental health of the parents and child
- Each parent’s wishes on how much parenting time they get
- How comfortable the child feels in their current home and community
- Any history of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault by a parent
- The child’s wishes, if they’re 12 or older
If both parents have a strong relationship with the child and are willing to co-parent, the judge will typically produce a court order that requests shared parental responsibility. Of course, the parents will need to live near each other to share physical custody, as the child will be going back and forth between houses as often as every few days, depending on the custody order.
In some cases, shared parental responsibility is not in the child’s best interests, as they could be at risk during parenting time with one parent. When this occurs, you have a chance at primary custody as long as you can prove that joint physical and legal custody is not in the best interests of the child’s safety before the courts allocate parental responsibilities.
You’ll need to talk to Colorado Springs child custody lawyers for help gathering evidence to show the other parent is not fit to share your parental rights due to child abuse, domestic violence, or other risks to the child’s welfare. At our law firm, our child custody lawyers know what it takes to prove to a Colorado Springs court that the child custody arrangement you have in mind is in the child’s best interests. Contact us today to discuss your case with skilled family law attorneys.
What Is Visitation?
If one parent has primary physical custody of the child, the other parent will likely be offered visitation rights. This means that the parents don’t share parenting time equally, but the non-custodial parent will get some time to see their child.
Visitation rights vary depending on the child’s best interests and the ability of both parties involved to agree on a parenting plan. If you want to handle your visitation rights outside the courtroom, you can set up reasonable visitation, which means you and your former spouse work out the schedule without involving the Colorado Springs family court.
If you can’t agree on a parenting time schedule outside of court, you will end up with fixed visitation. This is when the court determines a visitation schedule that both parents must follow. You should hire a visitation lawyer before determining parenting time in this way. You deserve to know your parental rights during your Colorado Springs child custody case, and a visitation lawyer can ensure you get the time you need to maintain your bond with your child.
If one parent has a history of domestic violence, child abuse, or any other legal issue that could endanger the child, the child custody arrangements will likely require supervised visitation. This means a trusted adult must be present during parenting time.
If you have questions about your visitation or child custody agreement during your family law case, talk to Colorado Springs child custody lawyers. Determining or enforcing parenting time on your own can be challenging, so you’ll need legal representation from an experienced legal team to get the results you deserve.
What’s a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan outlines the details regarding your parental responsibilities so it’s clear what duties and rights each parent will have after child custody has been decided. Family law judges prefer that both parents work on a parenting plan together to be on the same page regarding parenting time and details about the child’s upbringing. But if you can’t agree outside of court with the help of a family law attorney, the judge will decide on these details for you when issuing a custody order.
These are the most essential details to include in the plan:
- How many overnight visits the child gets with each parent
- Which parent will make decisions on important issues
- How the parents will split time with the child, including on holidays and summer break
- Which parent will pay for health insurance, extracurricular activities, educational costs, and other expenses
- Which parent will pay child support
- How much child support the parent will pay
- Who has access to the child’s medical and school records
- Who gets the child tax break
- How the child should communicate with the other parent
- How to request a child custody modification
- Where and when child exchanges will take place
Basically, your parenting plan should include any details that the other parent should know regarding child custody, child support, and visitation. A skilled Colorado Springs child custody attorney can help you create a parenting plan that addresses everything from parenting time to child support and other details. Contact our Colorado law firm today for a free consultation with a caring child custody lawyer.
Why Should You Hire Child Visitation Lawyers in Colorado Springs?
You and your child deserve to remain in each other’s lives after you and their other parent divorce. A dedicated child custody lawyer in Colorado Springs can help make this happen. At Brighter Day℠ Law, we’re knowledgeable about the laws surrounding child custody and child support in El Paso County. Whether you’re worried about how much parenting time you’ll get or need to enforce a current child custody order, our Colorado law firm can help.
Our Colorado Springs child custody lawyers always keep the best interests of the children involved as our top priority. We want to protect children throughout El Paso County while ensuring committed, loving parents get the parenting time they desire. If you’re ready to get legal assistance from compassionate lawyers, call us at (719) 733-9129 for a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions about Child Custody and Visitation in Colorado
Since the circumstances surrounding the issue of parenting and child custody are different in each individual case, there is no particular definition of the term. The plain meaning of the term signifies that the child should be benefitted from an arrangement owing to the circumstances. Although “best interests” have not been pre-defined there are some factors considered while determining them. These factors include the ability of the parents to communicate amongst themselves, co-operation while deciding matters relating to the child, history of domestic abuse, the needs of the child, safety requirements of the child, the environment of the home, educational needs, the age of the child, etc.
A child can make a decision all by themselves as to which parent they would be willing to live with after they are either emancipated or have reached the age of 18. If the child crosses 12 years of age, their wish to live with a particular parent can be considered but the final decision lies with the court. If the child is less than 12 years of age, then the decision would solely lie with the court or the arrangement between parents approved by the court.
If the parent has a history of drug abuse/alcohol abuse, has been a culprit of domestic violence, or has shown no interest in providing support for the well-being of the child, then the court can consider the parent to be unfit for the purpose of child custody and visitation and will award primary parental responsibility to the other parent in such scenarios.
If you live in Colorado and are involved in a legal matter relating to the custody of a child or visitation rights following a separation or divorce, an experienced Colorado Springs child visitation lawyer with the legal team at Brighter Day℠ Law can help. We have the skills and expertise needed to handle such matters and are ready to assist you.