Divorce can be a difficult time especially for spouses with children. In most cases, the couple never agrees on a parenting plan and have to go to court where judges base their decision on the best interest of the child. In Colorado, the law considers having regular contact with both parents and having both parents' participation in child’s upbringing to be in the best interest of the children. This means that no parents get the greater privilege.
Parenting time includes both custody and visitation. The decision is usually made by the court after determining the child’s best interests. Additionally, the court hears any evidence that may endanger a child’s mental or physical welfare. When determining a child’s best interest, the court looks at several factors such as:
Physical and mental health of parties
The child’s wishes if they are old enough to express their preferences
The parent’s wishes and their past involvement with the child
Ability to put the child’s interest ahead of their own
How they relate and any history of domestic violence
The physical location of both parents
In case an issue of endangerment is raised, the court may hear the issue on an expedited or emergency basis. Once the court reviews any facts and determines there is a possibility of endangerment, it will restrict the parenting time of a party.
Determining the child’s best interest can be daunting especially where the parent believes there is endangerment. To prove this, you must present clear evidence such as a report on a past domestic violence case. A divorce lawyer in Denver, CO can help you express your concerns to better protect the interests of your child.
Implementing a parenting plan
Once the court decides on the best interests of the child for the custody and visitation, the court may order a parenting plan that clearly stipulates custody, visitation and decision-making responsibilities.
If you have concerns involving parental responsibilities, it’s important to talk to a child custody attorney who will help you understand your rights as well as provide representation in court.