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How Does the Court Decide Parenting Time in Colorado?

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Who Will Get Custody of My Kids?

If you're going through the divorce process as a parent, one of your primary concerns is most likely who will gain custody of your kids and how their time will be split.

Keep reading to learn how our team at Denver Family Lawyers can help you fight for a fair custody agreement during your divorce.

Child Custody, Visitation, and Parenting Time

Before you think about where the children will live and for how long, it's essential to know the difference between visitation rights, custody, and parenting time in Colorado.

Visitation is an outdated term under Colorado law, which is now referred to as parenting time. In 1998, the Colorado legislature removed the word "custody" and replaced it with the concept of parental responsibilities — which include decision-making ability and parenting time.

How is Parenting Time Decided?

There are several factors that the court uses to decide who will be awarded parenting time and how that time will be split. To determine the best interests of the child, the Colorado family court will consider the following factors:

  • The wishes of the parents and child.
  • The child’s interactions and relationships with the parents and immediate family.
  • The child's adjustment to home, school, and community.
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
  • Whether the past pattern of parental involvement with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support.
  • The physical distance between the parents.
  • The ability of both parents to support the child’s relationship with their co-parent.
  • Each parent's ability to place the needs of the child ahead of his/her own needs.
  • Whether one of the parents has been a perpetrator of child neglect or spouse abuse.

Sharing Parenting Time

The court will also consider if parenting time is best split between both parents based on the following additional factors:

  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and to make decisions jointly.
  • The past pattern of parental involvement with the child.
  • Whether an allocation of mutual decision-making will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each parent.

The judge will go over any credible evidence of the parents’ ability to cooperate and to make decisions jointly on behalf of their children. From here, joint parenting time will either be awarded, or parenting time will be awarded solely to one parent.

Contact a Custody Attorney in Denver

Attorney William “Bill” Thode has practiced family law for the past 20 years. As a seasoned trial lawyer, he can provide the aggressive advocacy you need, tempered with compassion toward you and your children. Request your free case evaluation today to learn whatDenver Family Lawyers can do for you!

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