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Whenever possible, Colorado family courts prefer that child custody is decided amicably between the parents. If this cannot be done, the court will decide using a variety of factors such as where the child already lives and attends school, the ability of the parents to provide care, and more.

Child custody is arguably one of the most contested issues within a divorce, and also one of the most crucial ones in the futures of both the parents and the children. Whom the child lives and spends time with will impact the finances of both parents as well as the relationship they cultivate with their children. 

In 1999, Colorado family courts stopped using the term “child custody” and now use “parental responsibilities” instead. These responsibilities include whom the child lives with and who makes the major decisions in their life, such as those pertaining to school, medical care, and religion. 

Some parents are able to reach a custody agreement by themselves, and others need the assistance of the courts to do so. Either way, having experienced Aurora child custody lawyers on your side can help protect your legal rights. 

Parents Can Decide Custody

If the parents are getting divorced, filing an uncontested divorce allows them to work together to come up with a plan for their children. As long as the court finds the plan acceptable and in the best interest of the children, it will be approved. If the parents are not legally married, they can also work on a plan together and present it to the family court for approval. Well-versed Aurora child custody attorneys can represent you as you and your child’s other parent work together on an agreement.

Family Courts Can Decide Custody

If the parents are unwilling to try or unable to come up with a parental responsibility plan that they can both agree on, it will be left up to the local court system. The courts must look at what is in the best interest of the child when making this determination. Here are some factors the family court will use to determine what is in the best interests of the child:

  • The mental and physical health of each parent
  • The special needs a child may have and how each parent deals with those needs
  • Religious and/or cultural situations
  • Upholding the continuation of a stable home environment
  • Other children such as step or half-siblings whose custody is relevant to this custody arrangement
  • Support and opportunity for interaction with members of the extended family of either parent 
  • Interactions and interrelationships with other members of a household
  • Adjustments to school and community
  • The age and gender of the child
  • If there has been a pattern of domestic violence in the home
  • Excessive discipline or emotional abuse by one parent
  • Evidence of parental drug, alcohol or child/sex abuse

In fact, a judge will even listen to the child’s wishes regarding child custody if the child is mature enough to have their own independent opinion. Other states have put a legal age requirement in place for a child to do this, but Colorado has not. 

Keep in mind that under some circumstances, a child custody arrangement can be changed in the future. 

Seek Help from Highly Seasoned Aurora Child Custody Lawyers 

Even when two parents agree on a custody arrangement, child custody cases often have many legal nuances and complexities. If you are seeking the best outcome possible for you and your child, turn to CNL Law Firm, PLLC. Call (720) 370-2171 or complete our online form to receive your no-obligation child custody case review with our highly skilled Aurora child custody lawyers today. 

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