Colorado Springs Child Custody Attorneys
Child custody is one of the most difficult parts of any divorce. Trying to work out arrangements for parental responsibilities with your former spouse, even during an uncontested divorce, often times presents major issues that manifest into arguments and heightened levels of stress during an already difficult time. In child custody cases, as well as family law in general, the most important thing is to remain calm so that cooler heads can prevail.
What Are Childs Rights?
In 1999, the courts in Colorado changed the phrase child custody to parental responsibilities. This was to better depict that the court’s primary interest is in the well being of each child. Colorado is a vanguard when it comes to family law, which means that all child custody cases are adjudicated to protect the rights and liberties of children, as well as the lifestyles they had prior to the divorce, including education and healthcare. In most family law cases, judges regard the value of a child having two parents and will declare joint custody. This doesn’t apply to spouses and children that were victims of abuse, however.
What Is the Difference Between Joint Custody and Full Custody?
Many divorces inColorado are uncontested, which means thatboth parents play a role in determining how custody of their children will be divided. In the vast majority of cases, this results in equally shared custody, with the parent remaining in the former household having more physical custody, and the other parent having full visitation rights and equal legal custody.
The only time Colorado courts will grant full custody to a parent, both physically and legally, is when one of the parents is accused or convicted for physical abuse and/or domestic violence. In situations like this, the victimized parent will always receive full custody.Once there is no longer danger to the former spouse or child, the parent without custody can appeal the court’s decision to try and gain some custody and visitation rights.
The Best Way to Divide Child Custody
While the law requires both you and your former spouse to have separate attorneys, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t cooperate to establish what’s in the best interests of your children. Your best course of action is to create a parenting schedulethat clearly outlines which obligations are in the domain of which parent.
When creating a parenting schedule, here are a few important things to keep in mind:
- Put your kids first. Divorce is tough on everyone, and having 2 “homes” is never easy, especially in the beginning. If your kids are old enough, try to involve them in the process. Letting them know that their opinions matter is critical during such a difficult time in their lives.
- Consider logistics, as well as school and other activities. If parenting time will be split 50/50, will transportation responsibilities be shared equally? Who will watch your kids if you’re both unable to do so?
- Don’t make it about what is convenient for you. Focus on developing a parenting plan that will allow your children to maintain an ongoing relationship with both you and your former spouse instead. This isn’t about you. It is about them.
- Don’t make it about winning or losing, or attempting to “get back” at your ex. Sacrifices will need to be made on both sides, and things will go a lot more smoothly if you both are amicable as it relates to the parenting of your children.
Once you’ve created a parenting schedule, test it out for a few weeks to see how things go. This gives everyone a chance to adjust before making any tweaks or modifications.
If for whatever reason, you and your ex spouse are unable to agree on a parenting schedule, the courts will create one for you. Should you find yourself in this type of situation, a qualified family law attorney will fight on your behalf for the most favorable outcome.
Free Consultation with Colorado Springs Child Custody
When you have a good family law attorney on your side, you can stop worrying about whether you will see your kids, and instead focus on how to provide them with the best possible upbringing after such a major event in their young lives. Contact the Colorado Springs child custody attorneys at Kinnaird & Kinnard, P.C.today at (719) 520-0003 for a free consultation regarding your parental rights.