Greenwood Village Custody Lawyer Protects Your Parental Rights
Colorado firm counsels clients on parental responsibility laws
Though all parents want what is best for their children after a divorce, they might disagree on what that means. At the Law Offices of Bonnie E. Saltzman, LLC in Greenwood Village, we offer knowledgeable legal counsel regarding Colorado’s parental responsibility standards. From there, our firm makes every effort to develop custody and visitation arrangements that help parents, sons and daughters overcome challenges and lay the ground work for healthy communication and relationships.
Allocation of decision-making authority among parents
What many people call child custody is known parental responsibility under Colorado law. Parental responsibility is broken into two categories: allocation of decision-making responsibility and parenting time. Typically, decision-making authority will be granted jointly so that both parents have a say in important choices regarding their child’s education, medical care and religious upbringing. However, judges are bound to make rulings based on what is in the youth’s best interests, and you might wish to request sole authority if you are concerned about your ex-partner’s substance abuse or potential violations of the state’s Child Abduction Prevention Act.
Both parents may submit a parenting plan or plans for court approval that allocate decision-making responsibility and parenting time. If no parenting plan is submitted, or if the parenting plan submitted is not approved by the court, the court will formulate a parenting plan for the child. Taking into consideration the issues that affect the child, the parenting plan resolves whether to establish joint, split, or sole decision-making responsibilities and also time-sharing arrangements.
Parenting time schedules
What many people refer to as visitation is called parenting time in Colorado. Whenever possible, it is best for parents to reach an agreement regarding a schedule that determines when their child will be in each home. Forming a plan sometimes gets complicated as parents might disagree over vacations, holidays, family events, child support and other issues. Should your case go before a judge, he or she will establish a parenting time schedule based on the following factors listed in the Colorado statutes regulating visitation:
- Wishes of the parents
- Preference of the child if he or she is of sufficient maturity
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s adjustment to their home, school and community
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time
- Each parent’s ability to encourage their child’s relationship with the other parent
- Physical proximity of the parents to each other
- Parental history of abuse or neglect
- The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.
The state of Colorado acknowledges that positive, ongoing relationships with both parents are important in helping children lead well-adjusted lives. Whether you’re forming an initial parenting plan or considering modifications to a decree currently in force, seeking legal advice from a qualified family law attorney will help you understand your options and assert your rights effectively.
Grandparents’ visitation rights
When children reside with one parent following a divorce, separation or death, grandparents from the other parent’s side might not be given access to their grandchildren. In these situations, grandparents can seek visitation by filing a petition in the District Court of the county where the child resides. It’s important to remember that parents are given strong deference in these situations, so the burden of proof is on the grandparent(s), who must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that granting visitation is in the youth’s best interests. Our firm can look at the existing grandparent-grandchild relationship and other factors to assess whether the court might order visitation even over the parent’s objections.
Contact a Greenwood Village parental rights attorney to set up a free consultation
The Law Offices of Bonnie E. Saltzman, LLC advises Colorado parents on a child custody and visitation arrangements, including potential modifications to existing parenting plans. For a free initial consultation, please call 720-388-1565 or contact us online. We are located in Greenwood Village.