The common legal terms you will hear about child custody after divorce are legal and physical custody. However, Colorado courts refer to the former as decision-making responsibility and the latter as parenting time. The court has to make the decision for either one depending on the best interests of the children or child of a divorcing couple.
The Decision Making Process
Unless a child is mature enough to express a reasonable opinion, they cannot choose who to live with after their parent’s divorce. The judge will determine who the child will live with by considering different factors which include:
- The wants of the parents
- The ability of a child to adjust to the home, community, and school
- The overall health (physical and mental) of the child and parents; the court may rule a parent unfit to get parenting time because of a disability
- The distance of the homes of the parents
- The ability and willingness of a parent to create and nurture a loving relationship with their child
- Whether either parent has abused the child or has inflicted domestic violence.
These are some of the parameters that will factor in the decision-making process of a judge. With help from a child custody lawyer in Colorado Springs, you can determine whether or not you will get custody of your child.
Shared Parenting Time
Parents can divide and share parenting time equally based on what is best for their child and for them. This may mean that one parent will have their child for every first and third quarter of the year. The divorcing couple must set the times and get an approval from the court. If parents get shared custody of their child, the child support will depend on the income and expenses of the parents and the expenses of their children or child.
Divorce is never easy, especially if there are children involved. It can be messy, but it can also go smoothly, depending on how you compose yourself and with the help of an attorney.