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 history of domestic abuse, and each parent’s ability to foster and support the child’s relationship with the other party, etc.
Need a Denver child custody attorney? Contact Jones Law Firm, PC for a free case evaluation with an experienced and knowledgeable member of our legal team.