In Colorado, not all couples who part ways are ending their relationship on the best terms. There are many reasons why this could be the case, but one of the most troublesome is if there is abuse in the relationship. The abuse could be toward a child, from one spouse to the other, or a combination. When the court determines how to handle child custody and visitation schedules, it will consider any allegations of abuse.
Any allegations must have credible evidence to support them. If the court finds the allegations credible, then it will likely find that joint custody should not be awarded should the other parent object to it. In some cases, the child will have an appointed representative - a Guardian ad Litem - who will oversee the child's interests. The GAL will decide what is best for the child.
If there is spousal abuse, this is also a factor to be considered. The court must know if there have been restraining orders taken out to keep the abusive parent away from the other parent if it was filed in the previous 90 days. Prior to filing for child custody or parental responsibility, the court must be told of the restraining order. The abuse can be described with the case number provided. Like child abuse, there must be credible evidence of spousal abuse. If it is found to be viable, then the court will again decide whether to give joint custody or joint decision-making to the abusive parent.
In some instances, the court might decide that the parents can make decisions together if they meet in a location where there is no danger for abuse. Abuse is an unfortunate reality for many people and is often the foundation for the decision to part ways as a couple. When there is an abusive parent or an abusive spouse, the court should know about it. A lawyer who has extensive experience in all areas of family law including divorce, child support, child custody and more can help with a case in which there are issues of abuse.