Child Custody Lawyers in Colorado Springs2022-07-20T21:51:45+00:00

If you are considering a divorce, you may worry about how separating from your spouse will affect your children and your parenting rights. Parents often fear losing custody of their children during a divorce.

Fortunately, the state of Colorado recognizes that positive involvement from both parents is what is in the children’s best interests. However, this is not a guarantee. Parents considering divorce should immediately obtain the help of an experienced Colorado Springs child custody lawyer to protect their parenting rights throughout the divorce process.

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Colorado Child Custody

child supportIn 1999, Colorado child custody laws changed. The term custody was no longer used in legal terms. Instead, it is now referred to as “parental responsibilities.” The Court looks at Parental Responsibilities differently than they used to look at custody. The stated goal of the change was to be more fair and more flexible to achieve better results.  Colorado Revised Statutes outline what child custody options are available in the state.

Unfortunately, even though the law allows both parents to maintain parental responsibilities, the reality isn’t always so easy. Divorces are contentious. There are often highly heated and contested aspects of divorce and determining child custody is one of them.

Divorcing parents don’t always agree or see eye-to-eye about what is best for their children, and often the Court has to pick one side over the other regarding how to best allocate responsibilities. That is where we can help.

At Liberty Law Center, we are here to represent you throughout the divorce and child custody process. We offer compassionate and strong legal guidance at every turn. We know how important your children are, and we fight aggressively to protect them along the way.

Our services are affordable, and we can customize our support to help you where and when you need it most. The Firm has over 30 years of experience, we can guide you, so you aren’t left alone during this difficult time.

Make Sure You Have the Legal Knowledge for Child Custody

So what does this mean for you? You need to know how best to work within Colorado divorce and child custody laws to ensure that you, your spouse, and your children will get the best possible outcome during the ending of a marriage. While child custody battles can often be contentious, overwhelming, and difficult, it doesn’t have to be when you have legal experts who can help you understand your own rights, your children’s rights, and walk you through the Colorado court system.

Whether you are new to the child custody terrain, or whether you need to modify your current child custody plans, let us help you. Liberty Law Center knows the ends and outs of child support, child custody, and parental responsibility in Colorado. Contact us today!

Parental Responsibility vs. Child Custody

Allocation of parental responsibilities is the term most lawyers will use when referring to child custody. This deals with how much physical time each parent will have with their children. It also outlines who will get to make important life decisions for the children.

In this way, parental responsibilities encompass more than just custody. It also includes parenting time limits and how the children may be exchanged between the parties. For example, the courts could request supervised parenting time or ask that the parents exchange the child in a specific location for safety or convenience.

Parents have two main decisions when divorcing, regarding Parental Responsibility:

  1. Decision-making responsibilities (formally called legal custody)
  2. Residential duties (formally called physical custody)

Colorado courts start with the belief that both parents should make decisions regarding their children, as they believe that communicating and co-parenting together is the best for the children. As such, the Court will very often order joint-decision making. However, the Court will consider past involvement of each parent, the ability of the parents to communicate, and also if there is any history of domestic violence between the parents.

When determining child custody, you should have legal representation throughout the process. Your lawyer will make sure you have all the information you need to advocate for your children and yourself during this time. They will handle the legal aspects and advise you of the best ways to protect your parental rights.

Child’s Best Interest Considerations

When determining parenting time and decision-making responsibilities, the courts will want to do whatever is in the child’s best interest. Section 14-10-124 of the Colorado Revised Statutes states that it is presumed to be in the child’s best interest for the child to have frequent contact with each parent. Thus, the courts encourage joint responsibility, where both parents share the job of raising the children and making life decisions concerning them.

However, some child custody cases are not clear-cut, and maintaining contact with both parents may not be in the child’s best interest. When this occurs, the courts will consider numerous factors before deciding child custody.

Factors in Child Custody Decisions

  • The preferences of the child’s parents.
  • The preferences of the child if they are mature enough to communicate their wishes.
  • The nature of their relationship with the parent.
  • How the child adjusted to their school and home life.
  • The physical and mental health of all parties.
  • The ability of each parent to foster a loving and continuing relationship with the child.
  • Past patterns of the parents and their commitment to the children.
  • Evidence of abuse or neglect.

Parenting Plan: What Should Go In One?

Writing your parenting plan is a daunting task. That’s because it will become the blueprint for how you effectively co-parent your children together. It will determine where your children spend their nights, where they go to school, and how they celebrate holidays. Because of this, it is important to work on your parenting plan with an experienced Colorado Springs child custody lawyer at our law firm. We can make sure your parenting plan is one that best fits you and your children’s lifestyle.

In general, you should address and include the following in your parenting plan:

  • Parenting time and responsibilities
  • How you will resolve disagreements
  • Legal custody
  • Physical custody
  • Visitation schedule
  • Parenting plan calendars
  • Holiday visitation
  • Childcare providers
  • School schedules
  • Medical decisions
  • Health insurance and other insurance
  • Communication preferences
  • Child support payments

While the court offers templates of parenting plans that can be fairly easy to fill out yourself, it is still important that you seek legal counsel while doing so. It can be very easy to make a small mistake that can fundamentally change the way your parenting plan may be read by a judge in the future, and may box you in to things that you did not intend. If you have legal counsel, your attorney can ensure that you understand everything in the parenting plan and that your parenting plan does in fact reflect your intended agreement. At Liberty Law Center, we can help you draft a parenting plan and make sure you and your child’s future are protected at every step.

Child Support

child supportOnce parenting time is established, the non-custodial parent will typically need to pay child support. Many factors go into calculating child support, including how much each parent earns and the amount of time caring for the children. Colorado has specific child support guidelines. These guidelines ensure that the children are cared for properly by each parent.

Child support cannot be waived by either party. The court will routinely follow the guidelines and rarely strays from those guidelines. However, when your situation is reduced to a few numbers on a child support worksheet, it can often feel overly simplified and that the court isn’t really seeing your true situation. As such, an attorney can help you make arguments to “deviate” from those guidelines, either higher or lower, as the situation may call for. This can often be a nuanced and complicated legal argument, but can potentially save you (or earn you) hundreds of dollars more per month, depending on your situation. This again is why it is crucial to consult with an attorney rather than going through the process alone!

Our Colorado Springs Child Custody Lawyers Are Here to Help

Child custody issues can be scary and contentious. You want what’s best for your children, and so do we. At Liberty Law Center, our child custody lawyers will give you strong legal counsel, ensuring that your parenting rights are protected at every turn. We are here to help you through the scary and difficult aspects of divorce.

You don’t have to do it alone. Liberty Law Center has represented thousands of divorcing parents over more than three decades, and you can be sure that you will receive the individualized attention that your child custody case deserves. So give us a call because Liberty Law Center is here to help.

We Are Here to Help

At Liberty Law Center, our family law attorneys have more than 40 years of experience assisting Coloradans in litigation and alternative dispute resolution methods.

We are a trusted Colorado Family Law firm providing services ranging from divorce to complex child custody matters. We are proud to offer legal guidance and assistance to families in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Pueblo, Teller County, and throughout Southern Colorado.

Complete a form or call today 719-578-1183 for a consultation:

Colorado Child Custody FAQ

Will My Child Be Required to Appear in Court?2021-03-16T21:31:04+00:00

Most often, no.  Actually, it is discouraged to involve the child in court proceedings.

Who gets custody of our child?2021-03-16T21:39:50+00:00

In Colorado, there isn’t a set of rules that determines who receives custody of the child or children.  However, the court must consider statutory factors before awarding a decision involving minors.

When will we make a decision on child custody?2021-03-16T21:36:07+00:00

The final parenting time decisions are made by the court during Permanent Orders.  At this point, you might receive Temporary Orders to determine parenting time until the parties can agree on a parenting schedule.

When can the child decide which parent to live with?2021-03-16T21:38:24+00:00

There is no age limit for when a child can decide which parent to live with in Colorado.  Here, the court will hear the child’s wishes and will consider them to the extent that the minor is mature enough to express both reasoned and independent preferences regarding the time schedule.

What’s the difference between joint custody and sole custody?2021-03-16T21:39:29+00:00

Colorado doesn’t have joint or sole custody, but instead, the term parental responsibility is used.  Parental responsibility can either be joint or primary.  Joint parental responsibility is characterized by equally sharing in overnight visitation with the minor.  If one parent maintains less than 90 overnight visitations with the minor, the other parent is maintaining primary parental responsibility.

Additionally, Colorado separates decision-making responsibilities from residential responsibilities.  Joint decision-making is when both parents are required to jointly make decisions dealing with education, religion, extracurricular activities, and medicine.  In a sole decision-making situation, one parent is able to make all these decisions without consulting the other parent.

What’s a parenting plan?2021-03-16T21:50:43+00:00

This is a plan that parents give to the court that explicitly states the allocation of parenting time, including holiday visits and other circumstances.  This document is required since it is essential that both parties are aware of the terms. Learn more about parenting time. 

What does the term “visitation” mean?2021-03-16T21:34:29+00:00

This is parenting time.  Visitation is any time when one parent gets a chance to visit with the minors.

We can’t agree on a custody agreement. What happens now?2021-03-16T21:35:22+00:00

If the parents are unable to come to an agreement on a parenting schedule, the court will determine a schedule that it feels is the best for the wellbeing of the minor child.

Is it True That the Mother is Favored Over the Father in Court?2021-03-16T21:33:00+00:00

The court is prohibited from bias due to sex.

Is it possible to increase my chances of a larger custody agreement?2021-03-16T21:35:00+00:00

There are a variety of factors used to determine a parenting visitation.  Throughout this process, it’s helpful to constantly ask, “why is this the best option for my child?” to stay child-focused.

If parents share custody, do either of the parents have to pay child support?2021-03-16T21:39:03+00:00

This is determined by gross monthly income and other expenses.  A factor of child support is who spends the majority of the time with the child, however it’s not determinative of any support obligation.

Do you charge a consultation fee?2021-03-27T16:36:17+00:00

We offer Free Consultations on DUI, Criminal, and Traffic cases. Please call for our consultation fee on Family Law, Divorce, and Child Custody cases.

Do I Need to Hire a Guardian Ad Litem/Custody Evaluator?2021-03-16T21:29:59+00:00

No, but it can be very helpful to get their services in some cases.

Do grandparents receive custody and visitation rights?2021-03-16T21:38:04+00:00

Third parties (including grandparents) do not have visitation rights to the minor, unless an independent action for gaining those rights is started.

Can I modify custody?2021-03-16T21:35:45+00:00

The parenting plan and the parenting schedule can be changed at any time if the change is in the best interest of the child.  It is important to note that any major changes to parenting time can only be requested if the child’s present environment can be shown to endanger the child’s physical health.

Can child custody and/or support be included in my divorce decree if it’s in my separation agreement?2021-03-16T21:52:02+00:00

Yes, they should always be integrated. Learn more about how child support is calculated.

Are There Different Levels of Visitation?2021-03-16T21:33:47+00:00

Yes, in addition to unsupervised visitation, there is “supervised visitation” and “no visitation.”  The court may issue either of these if it feels that one party is a danger to the child’s physical or emotional health.

Am I Able to Collect My Own Evidence if My Case Goes to Court?2021-03-16T21:32:10+00:00

Yes, you are permitted to collect your own evidence.  Keep in mind, you must adhere to the Rules of Evidence when introducing your proposed evidence.

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