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Allocating parental responsibilities in a Colorado divorce

Children are often caught in the middle of a Colorado divorce. Among the most complex factors that must be considered and decided as part of the divorce process, allocation of parental responsibility is at or near the top. Both parents will want to serve the child's best interests while spending as much time as possible with the child. This is true in an amicable divorce, a contentious divorce or a case that is somewhere in between. It is imperative for the parents to understand the law for parenting plans and how the responsibilities will be shared.

The parents can submit a parenting plan that the court will assess. It can approve or deny it. The plan must address the parenting time and how the decision-making responsibility will be split among the parties. For parents who have not submitted a parenting plan or if the plan that was submitted has been rejected, the court can create a parenting plan on its own. In contested cases, there must be clarity with the parenting plan so all the needs are addressed. This applies to the child and his or her age at the time of the plan's formulation and in the future.

There are certain provisions that can be included in a parenting plan including: the designation of the decision-making responsibilities; a schedule in which the parents will spend time with the child; how the child will be exchanged for parenting time, where it will take place, transportation considerations and more; how, when and where communication will take place between the child and the parent who is not with the child; and other factors that are important to serve the child's best interests.

Divorce can be a difficult time for everyone, but it is especially concerning for children. The goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible. Understanding shared responsibility and how it will fit into visitation and custody can be essential for the child's well-being. With this issue and any other family law matter including child support, property division and the entire divorce process, a law firm experienced in a wide variety of cases may help.

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Mary Kay Kramer, P.C.
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