Creative Solutions For Parenting Time And Strong Advocacy In Colorado Child Custody Matters.How to raise children after parents separate is the most difficult issue in a divorce proceeding and by far the most emotional one for clients. There are two types of custody; legal custody and physical custody. Physical custody means who has the daily care, control and residence of the child. Legal custody means who gets to make major decisions concerning the health, education and general welfare of the child.
In 1999 Colorado removed the word “custody” from its marriage dissolution statute and replaced it with the phrase “allocation of parental responsibilities”. The word “custody” evokes notions of owning property or having control over someone against their will. “Allocation of parental responsibilities” is a softer term that reflect the shared duties that both parents have toward their children. This change in terminology is an important evolution in the law and in how couples approach this issue in their divorce.
Allocation of parental responsibility includes parenting time and decision-making. It is determined by the best interests of the child. A judge is guided by a statutory list of 16 factors that must be considered in any decision on parental responsibility.¨Colorado has implemented the use of Parenting Plans to assist parents with scheduling time with their children, decision-making and rules for communicating with each other about their kids. These detailed agreements when approved by a court, become enforceable orders.
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