Some of the most contentious disputes in many divorces have to do with children born to two now-separating parents. In many cases, it can be difficult for both parents of a child to come to an agreement about their respective obligations and responsibilities, especially if they live in different areas or have differing opinions on what would be in the child’s best interests.

While the final decision in these matters will ultimately be made by the court overseeing your case, a qualified family attorney at Colorado Lawyer Team could provide important guidance and support before that verdict is handed down. A knowledgeable and compassionate Greeley child custody lawyer could ensure your child’s needs are met while advocating on behalf of your own interests and desires as well.

How Courts Make Decisions Regarding Child Custody

For matters related to both child custody and child support, courts in Greeley make decisions based on their interpretation of what would be in the best interests of the child in question. In accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-124, this standard can incorporate a number of different factors, including but not necessarily limited to:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each parent’s capacity to provide for their child’s physical, emotional, social, and financial needs
  • How well-adjusted the child is to a particular school and/or community
  • Whether each parent is mentally and physically capable of caring for the child
  • Whether both parents will be willing to work together to ensure the best outcomes for their child
  • What the child personally wants, if they are old enough to express a reasoned opinion about the matter

While an individual parent’s wishes may also be incorporated into this decision, it is generally not one of the court’s primary considerations. A dedicated Greeley child custody attorney could work on a parent’s behalf to effectively advocate for their desires and best interests.

Parenting Responsibilities and Parenting Time

Since 1999, the state of Colorado has used the term “parenting responsibilities” in place of “custody” when it comes to supervision and support for a child of two separated parents. Additionally, Colorado courts refer to visitation rights for non-custodial parents and grandparents as “parenting time.”

Child custody in Greeley centers around two basic forms of custody as it does in most other states. The parent the child lives with most of the time is generally the one with physical custody, while legal custody grants a parent the right to make important decisions on a child’s behalf—typically those related to their education, health, and general wellbeing.

Barring exceptional circumstances, most separating parents are granted joint legal custody over any children they had during their marriage, meaning that they both have an equal say in matters like where a child goes to school and what religious practices they observe. It is common for courts to grant primary physical custody to one parent and grant the other specific visitation rights.

While giving sole physical and legal custody to one parent is generally not considered to be in a child’s best interests, it may be warranted in cases involving domestic abuse or any kind of violence—physical, emotional, or sexual—committed by one parent against the child in question. A knowledgeable child custody lawyer in Greeley could help an individual parent argue in favor of a preferred custody arrangement.

Talk to a Greeley Child Custody Attorney As Soon As Possible

Child custody decisions can be incredibly stressful and emotionally exhausting, and it is understandable to feel like they are completely outside of your control. Fortunately, while only a court can make a custody arrangement legally binding, there is still a lot you could do to pursue a decision that meets your child’s needs and desires as well as your own.

Working with a seasoned Greeley child custody lawyer could significantly improve your chances of getting the custody arrangement you want. To find out what may be possible in your situation, call today to set up a consultation.