Child custody can be a complex and emotional issue when parents separate or divorce. At Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC, our Denver child custody lawyers understand the importance of protecting your parental rights and doing what is in your children’s best interest.
We will work with you to understand the Colorado child custody laws and to develop a customized plan that meets the unique needs of your family. We will also represent you in court if necessary to advocate for your rights.
Schedule a consultation today to discuss your child custody matter with one of our experienced family law attorneys in Denver. We will answer your questions and help you understand your options. Call us at 303-797-2900 or contact us online
What Is Child Custody?
In Denver and in all of Colorado, child custody, formally known as the allocation of parental responsibilities, is broken down into two different types:
- Physical custody is referred to as the allocation of parenting time. This can include sole physical custody or joint physical custody. It may also include some form of shared physical custody between the two that includes visitation.
- Legal custody is referred to as the allocation of parenting responsibilities. This may be given to one parent or it may be shared between both parents.
How Is Child Custody Determined in Colorado?
In Colorado, the allocation of parental responsibility and time (child custody) can be a matter that is settled by the parents. If both parents are able to come to an agreement, this is generally better than the Court taking the matter under advisement. When both parents create a parenting plan that defines the allocation of parental responsibility and time, it gives both parties the opportunity to get at least some of what they want, rather than the Court making the decision. If both parents don’t want the Court to make the decision but are having a hard time coming to a decision, a mediation attorney in Denver can help relay each party’s options to enable them come to a mutual agreement.
If the Court makes the decision on behalf of the child, it looks at a legal concept known as the best interest of the child. This is a concept that is broken down into factors under Colorado Revised Statutes including and not limited to:
- The child’s physical well-being
- The child’s mental well-being
- The child’s emotional well-being
- The parent’s physical health
- The parent’s mental health
- The relationship between the parent and child
If the child has the mental and emotional maturity to express with whom they wish to live, under certain circumstances, the Court will take that information under advisement when making their decision.
Is Colorado a 50-50 Child Custody State?
“50-50 child custody” refers to what most parents refer to as “joint custody”, or splitting the child’s time in half between both parents. Although there is no requirement for the Colorado court to order joint parenting time, Colorado Revised Statute does require that parents and the parties involved in the child custody matter, such as grandparents, may have continuing and frequent contact with the child. When appropriate, parents may share the parenting time equally. In some circumstances, one parent may have up to 75% of the parenting time.
What Are the Legal Grounds for Full Custody of a Child in Colorado?
There are several legal grounds to seek full custody of a child in Colorado. However, you must be able to present evidence that will convince the Court that providing you with full custody is in the child’s best interest. These legal grounds include:
- The other parent’s parental rights were terminated
- The other parent has a history of physical abuse
- The other parent has a history of substance abuse
- The other parent has a history of profound irresponsibility
- The other parent has a history of child abandonment
- The other parent is incarcerated
- The other parent has an ongoing severe mental or emotional illness
- A court decision was issued that the other parent is unfit to provide care for the child
Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC: Denver Child Custody Lawyer
At Stahly Mehrtens Miner LLC we understand that the allocation of parental time and responsibility is crucial for both parents and the children involved. Our experienced Denver child custody attorney can assist parents in coming up with parenting plans that work for everyone involved. Get started today by calling 303-797-2900 or contacting us online to schedule your consultation.