Colorado does not use the traditional term custody. Instead, the state refers to parental responsibility. This includes parenting time (physical responsibility) and decision-making abilities (legal responsibility).
Learn more about Colorado parental responsibility laws.
A parent with less than 90 overnights per year does not have primary parental responsibility. Both parents have joint parental responsibility if the overnights are equal.
Legal custody is the decision-making authority with regard to the child’s welfare. This includes health and educational decisions that affect the child’s well-being. The court can order:
A court will award joint legal custody if it serves the best interest of the child.
The court considers the best interest of the child in parental responsibility cases. Many factors influence the best interest standard and may include:
The state favors frequent contact with both parents and does not discriminate based on gender.
A judge also considers any matter that may impact the child’s physical safety or emotional development. This includes domestic violence, child abuse or neglect.
Courts prefer arrangements that:
Colorado courts consider the child’s well-being the most important factor when determining parental responsibility.