When a marriage comes to an end, parents must decide how to divide their
family and household in two. The most legally and emotionally difficult
part of this undertaking is often determining
child custody. If you are a divorcing parent, it is critical to understand how the process
works and who has the final say in where your child will live.
A principle concept in all custody disputes is that decisions are to be
made in the “best interest” of the child. Generally, this
means that the arrangements which see a child is best cared and provided
for will be considered over parental preferences. While parents are given
an opportunity to reach terms on their own, the final order must still
be approved by a judge. When parents cannot reach an agreement, unresolved
issues will be decided in court.
Factors a judge may consider when determining child custody can include:
- The physical and mental health of all involved parties
- Ongoing relationships with siblings
- Each parent’s ability to provide financial support
- The stability and emotional support of each household
- How a divorce affects educational prospects
- If evidence of child abuse or domestic violence exists
Family courts in Colorado understand that it is important for both parents
to be involved in a child’s life. Correspondingly, and in line with
a child’s best interest, there is a strong preference towards awarding
joint custody whenever possible. Under this arrangement, a child will
spend an equal amount of time with each parent. In fact, sole custody
agreements may only be considered if it can be shown that a parent is
unfit. Sole custody may also be granted in cases where the alternative
would be unrealistic, such as when parents live in different states.
While the points listed above are far from a complete list of factors which
may come into play, they can provide some insight into the logic that
goes into a custody award. In practice, any number of unique factors may
influence the outcome of a court order and if you have specific questions,
it may be time to contact an attorney.
Legal Help with Child Custody Disputes
family law issues involve children, emotions can run high. Intense feelings of anger
or distrust may often complicate dispute resolution efforts. At Jorgensen
Brownell & Pepin P.C, we understand what you are going through and
we know what’s on the line. Our
Longmont divorce attorneys are backed by more than 25 years of legal experience and have helped hundreds
of families in your situation. When you need compassionate, effective
legal representatives in your corner, do not hesitate to
contact our firm.
If you would like to learn more about your case, call (720) 809-8310.