Maintaining Your Parental Rights

One of the most difficult problems individuals encounter in divorce is the prospect of losing custody of their children. In Colorado, when determining which parent will take custody, the court will consider the child(ren)'s best interest by evaluating several factors, including:

  • The wishes of the parents
  • The wishes of the child(ren)
  • The child(ren)'s adjustment to his/her present home
  • The mental and physical health of the parties involved
  • The proximity of the divorced parents
  • New living arrangements
  • Child abuse
  • Past patterns of paternal commitment

As an experienced family law attorney, I understand the emotional turmoil involved with the prospect of losing one's child. I have dedicated a core part of my practice to educating and supporting parents by guiding them through their options. I listen carefully to the individuals I represent and help the court get the necessary facts to make a proper determination.

Several Types Of Child Custody

There are many types of custody, and it is important to know the differences between them to understand your rights and priorities in legal proceedings.

Legal Custody/Decision-Making Authority

If a court has granted a divorced parent the right to make decisions about raising a child, then that parent has legal custody or decision-making authority over that child. Typical parental decisions made under legal custody or decision-making authority include those involving health care and education.

Physical Custody

Physical custody is simply the right of parent to live with his or her child in the same household.

Sole Custody/Decision-Making Authority

Sole custody/decision-making authority means that one parent makes all major decisions regarding a child and the other parent has visitation or parenting time.

Joint Custody/Joint Decision-Making Authority

Divorced parents who are ordered by a court or agree to share all major decision-making authority over a child have what is legally referred to as joint custody/joint decision-making authority over that child. Joint decision-making authority arrangements might include alternating weeks, one-month periods or spending weekends and holidays with one parent while spending weekdays with the other.

Third-Party Appointments In Custody Disputes

When parental responsibility becomes an issue in a Colorado divorce, a third party (a Child's Legal Representative, special advocate or parenting coordinator) is appointed to protect the best interest of the child. While this increases the expense of the proceedings, it sometimes is necessary to protect the child and assist the court in making decisions regarding parenting time or responsibility. I am very familiar with local providers who provide these services.

Protecting Your Children's Interests

It is imperative to care for your child adequately during and after a divorce. My firm works hard to achieve the best outcomes for all parties involved.

If you would like to learn more about how I can help, please call my office at 719-475-9994 or schedule an appointment online. Based in Colorado Springs, I serve throughout El Paso County. Initial consultations are always free.