If you are headed for
divorce and you have children with your spouse, you will undoubtedly have questions
about child custody. Will the children live with one parent more of the
time? Which parent will pay child support? Can the children choose which
parent to live with once they reach a certain age?
In order to help you better understand Colorado’s
child custody laws, we’re going to give you some information on the subject below.
Please continue reading and if you have further questions, don’t
hesitate to contact our office for a free case evaluation.
What is decision-making responsibility?
What many other states refer to as “legal custody,” Colorado
calls it “decision-making responsibility,” which refers to
a parent’s right to make important decisions about his or her child,
such as educational and medical decisions.
What is parenting time?
Most states use the term “physical custody” to refer to the
right to spend time with one’s child, but in Colorado, we use the
term “parenting time” instead of physical custody.
Can my child choose which parent to live with?
No, this decision is made by the judge. Assuming a child is mature enough
to voice their preference, the judge
will take their opinions into consideration. Ultimately, it’s up to the
judge to decide where the child will live.
Are mothers more likely to get decision making responsibility ?
Under the law, the court cannot assume that one parent is better based
on their sex. In fact courts prefer to be able to order joint decision
making when both parents are "fit and proper persons to parent".
If there is a history of domestic violence the court can order sole decision
making to one parent.
Can parents receive equal time with the children?
Yes, absolutely, especially if the parents arrange so they live near each
other and even better, if they can live in the same school zone. If the
parents can agree, they have a lot of flexibility when it comes to dividing
their time. It comes down to what makes sense for the family.
If we have equal custody, does one of us have to pay child support?
It all depends on the facts of the case, such as the parents’ individual
income and expenses, the allocation of parenting time, and the child’s expenses.
Can I stop paying child support if my ex won’t let me see the children?
No, you cannot. If you stop paying
child support, not only will the arrears continue to add up, you can face serious consequences,
such as wage garnishment and driver’s license suspension. If your
ex won’t let you see your children, you want to file a contempt action.
How does the judge make a custody decision?
If the parents cannot agree on a child custody arrangement, the judge will
make a decision based on the child’s best interests. The judge will
consider a number of factors, such as the the child’s relationship
with each parent, what the parents are asking for, whether there is any
domestic abuse, and each parent’s ability to foster and support the child's
relationship with the other party, etc.
Denver child custody attorney? Contact
Jones Law Firm, PC for a
free case evaluation with an experienced and knowledgeable member of our legal team.