If you have a child with a non-spouse, you will likely need to establish a child custody agreement or obtain an order for the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities. Custody proceedings can be a complicated process and it is natural to feel concerned about the best interests for your child. It is essential to recognize that you do not have to face this challenging time alone. At the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, we’re committed to helping parents navigate child custody matters to ensure their child enjoys a bright and secure future.
Helping You Navigate Child Custody Matters
Our caring and experienced family law attorneys are prepared to assist you with a wide range of child custody matters. Some of the ways we can help you achieve your goals include:
- Help you understand custody laws, especially the details of the child’s best interests standard
- Work with you to define your objectives concerning the allocation of parental responsibilities
- Engage in negotiations to reach an agreement on child custody
- Draft essential documents pertaining to a custody agreement
- Review agreements and paperwork presented to you by the other parent
- Request the appointment of a CFI or PRE (when appropriate)
- Representation during mediation
- Advocate on your behalf at a contested hearing regarding allocation of parental responsibilities
- We will work with you to assess your specific needs and identify the most strategic path forward to secure your desired outcome.
Understanding Child Custody Laws in Colorado
Colorado uses the term APR, which stands for the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” when discussing child custody matters. Parental responsibilities include both parenting time and each parent’s authority to make decisions for the child (i.e., regarding health care, education, extracurricular activities, religious instruction or participation, etc.). Colorado courts strive to put a child custody agreement in place that allows both parents to share in joint custody. However, the court recognizes that some circumstances, like the presence of violence or an unsuitable home environment, may make it necessary for only one parent to assume parental responsibility. A Judge will enter an order regarding custody that will be in effect during Allocation of Parental Responsibilities proceedings. A final Parenting Plan will include the specifics on individual parental responsibilities.
Navigating the “Best Interests of the Child” Standard
In every family law situation involving children, Colorado courts apply a “best interests of the child” standard. While both parents have personal preferences about how parental responsibilities should be divided, these desires may be ignored by Colorado courts if your preferred plan does not align with the child’s best interests. Though the standard may seem simple, there are many factors that courts will weigh against each other in making their ruling. In determining what is in a child’s best interests, courts consider relevant information such as the child’s wishes, the parent’s wishes, health issues affecting the child and parents, difficulties the child might have adjusting to a new school or home, and the nature of the relationship between parent and child.
Give our office a call today to learn more about how our dedicated and caring family law attorneys will fight hard to secure the best possible outcome for your child.