Child custody under Colorado law is known as "parental responsibility" and encompasses "parenting time" (who the child is with) and "decision-making" for major decisions regarding the child. Parental responsibility cases can be brought as part of a divorce but the parents do not have to be married to bring a parental responsibility case. The custody of a child is at stake and Colorado law has provided a means by which that custody can be determined--regardless of the marital status of the parents. Be prepared for your case by hiring an experienced child custody support lawyer in Colorado Springs.
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Child custody determinations are made based upon the "best interest of the child". This means that a parent's wishes are considered, but not necessarily controlling on the Court. Title 14, specifically 14-10-124, Colorado Revised Statutes, (C.R.S.) provides a list of issues a court must decide to determine the best interest of the child. The list includes:
- The wishes of the child's parents as to parenting time;
- The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
- The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time;
- The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party; except that, if the court determines that a party is acting to protect the child from witnessing domestic violence or from being a victim of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, the party's protective actions shall not be considered with respect to this factor;
- Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;
- The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time;
- The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.
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For each of these factors, evidence is presented, and the court makes a determination based upon the strength, credibility, and persuasiveness of the evidence. Custody cases can be heart-wrenching and extremely stressful. There is so much uncertainty when the parents are asking a Judge to make a decision--and their child's life and happiness, and sometimes safety, are at stake. Contact a child custody support lawyer in Colorado Springs today to get started.
The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson & Associates, PC is a family law firm serving clients in Colorado Springs and the surrounding area, including Fountain, Security-Widefield, Black Forest, Monument, Manitou Springs, Palmer Lake, Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Calhan, Peyton, El Paso County, Fremont County, Teller County and Pueblo County.
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