Child Custody & Visitation (CO)

Denver Family Law Attorneys

Perhaps one of the most confusing things about child custody cases is the terminology that the court uses to talk about custody and visitation.

  • Physical custody and visitation is called "parenting time." The court will require a detailed "parenting plan" outlining the time the child will spend with each parent.
  • Legal custody (the right to make decisions on behalf of the child) is called "parental responsibility."

These important decisions can be left to the family law judge to decide, but most couples find it more satisfying if they can work together to arrive at a parenting agreement that meets the unique needs of their children and family.

Parental Responsibilities and Parenting Time Agreements in Colorado

The family law attorneys at the law office of Diane S. Freed, P.C., help clients choose the process that is the most timely and cost-effective way to reach their goal. We can help you arrive at a parenting plan through mediation, the early neutral case evaluation process, or collaborative law. Or we can take your case to court, aggressively advocating for your rights and interests.

Learn more about how we can help you. Contact our Lakewood law office to schedule a consultation.

How the Court Looks at Child Custody and Parental Responsibility

When deciding the parent with whom the child will primarily reside, the court looks at many factors to determine the best interests of the child, including:

  • The wishes of the parents as to parenting time
  • The health and mental stability of each parent (and the absence of abusive behavior)
  • The parents' ability to encourage and support a positive relationship and contact between the child and the other parent
  • The past pattern of engagement between the parent and the child in terms of time, activities, and support
  • The ability of the parent to place the child's needs above his or her own
  • The wishes of the child (if the child is sufficiently mature to express a reasoned and independent preference)

Your family lawyer at Diane S. Freed, P.C., will help you review your family's preferences, past experiences, and future plans for custody and parenting time in light of these factors so you can negotiate agreement or present a strong case to the court.

What the Court Does NOT Look at When Assigning Parental Responsibility

  • The court does not look at parental conduct that does not affect their relationship with the child.
  • The court also does not presume that one parent is better able to meet the best interests of the child because of the parent's gender.
  • Also, if a parent leaves the home because of spousal abuse, that action is not held against the parent when determining the best interests of the child.

When you need help negotiating a custody agreement, presenting your case to a family court judge, or seeking a modification of an existing order, contact an attorney at the law office of Diane S. Freed. We are happy to assist you.