What factors are used to determine custody in Colorado?

Going through a divorce in Colorado is not an easy process. There are major decisions that they must make as they separate their shared life into two lives. This involves dividing assets that they may have been used to having for many years. It also involves determining when each parent will have the children in their care and how they will make important decisions for the children. This can be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce as well due to the emotional relationships parents have with their children.

Child custody and parenting time decisions are also very complicated and fact-specific decisions based on the unique circumstances of the family. Each family dynamic is different and each one needs to be analyzed individually to determine what is in the best interest of the children. To determine this there are many factors that need to be analyzed.

Best interest factors

There are a number of factors that judges will analyze, which include, but are not limited to:

  • The wishes of the parents and the wishes of the children if they are old enough and mature enough to voice what they believe is best for them;
  • The children’s interaction and relationships with their parents and their siblings;
  • The children’s familiarity and how established they are in their current schools and community;
  • The physical and mental health of the parents and the children;
  • How close the parents live to each other;
  • The parents ability to cooperate with each other;
  • Whether awarding joint custody will help promote more consistent interaction with the parents and children;
  • Other factors relevant to determining each parent’s relationship with the children and ability to make decisions together.

Determining the allocation of decision making and determining parenting time is not an easy process in Colorado. There are no bright line rules for custody decisions and analyzing the factors is very fact-specific. Experienced attorneys understand how the factors will be used to determine custody and may be able to guide one through the process.

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