Your love for your children could be the biggest deterrent stopping you from filing for divorce. You may not like the idea of only seeing them on every other birthday or spending half the week away from them. Remaining in an unhappy marriage isn’t necessarily the right solution either.
Colorado law protects the needs of children and also the interests of both parents in the event of a parental separation or divorce. Parents can either cooperate with one another or go to court to settle parenting matters. What can you expect if you don’t settle on a parenting plan with your ex?
A judge will divide your parental rights and responsibilities
Colorado does not use the word custody to talk about your time with the children. Instead, state law refers to parental rights and responsibilities. Those include the responsibility of being physically present for the children and providing for their needs.
Parents often focus a lot on parenting time, but decision-making authority is another important parental right. After all, you likely have preferences regarding the medical care that your children receive or the religion that they observe.
How does a judge make parenting decisions?
There is no formula for dividing parental responsibilities and rights for Colorado families. Instead, the judge presiding over your case will need to learn a bit about your family.
From the role each of you has played in the lives of the children to your career demands and the preferences of your older children, numerous factors will influence how a judge divides your parenting time and other parental responsibilities.
Showing that you have a commitment to your children and adequate motivation to cooperate with your ex could help you secure favorable terms in litigated division of parental rights and responsibilities.
Staying out of court may be the better option
For many families, the stress of litigated custody matters will further damage the relationship between parents. It can also put a lot of stress on the children, especially if they need to discuss their preferences in family court or with a judge. If you and your ex are able to negotiate your own arrangements, you may be able to keep your costs lower, reduce the pressure on your children and maintain control over your family arrangements.
Making sense of the laws that apply to parenting matters in Colorado can help you use the best approach given your circumstances.