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What is Parenting Time?

Parenting time is a relatively new term previously used to describe visitation. In the state of Colorado, all divorced or separated parents are required to have a parenting time schedule on file with the court. Both parents should be given liberal parenting time rights, unless of course, it is not in the child’s best interest to interact with one of his or her parents, usually because of a history of violence, drug abuse, or alcoholism.

Parenting time plans should clearly spell out when the child will see and spend time with each parent, and for how long the visits will last. The purpose of these types of plans is to ensure the children of divorced or separated parents have continual contact with both parents. The courts give parents the freedom to draft their own parenting time agreements, but in the event that parents cannot reach a mutual agreement, the court can step in and craft its own parenting time plan. Some of the factors the court will take into consideration include:

  • The physical, psychological, and emotional health of each parent
  • Whether or not one or both parents has a history of drug abuse, alcoholism or domestic violence
  • The preference of the parent
  • The preference of the child (if the child is of a certain age)
  • The relationship the child has with each parent, as well as with any siblings living with either parent
  • How well the child is integrated at school, in the community, and in his/her daily routine
  • The ability of each parent to provide the child with the emotional support he or she needs
  • Each parent’s willingness to accommodate and work with the other parent
  • Each parent’s ability and willingness to put the child’s best interest before their own
  • Where each parent lives
  • Each parent’s daily schedules and lifestyle

Overall the court will be interested in protecting the child’s best interest. The best case scenario is for the child to spend equal or close to equal time with each parent. If this is not possible, the judge will issue a ruling he or she feels is suitable for the family’s situation.

If you are going through a divorce or separation, a Denver divorce attorney at the Rocky Mountain Family Lawyers would be happy to help you draft your parenting time

plan. You can trust an attorney at our office to listen to your needs, wants, and concerns and ensure they are addressed in the agreement. We understand how important an issue this is, and are committed to doing our best to help you reach an arrangement with your ex that best suits the needs of you and your family.

To schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney at our office, please call (303) 225-3343today!