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Understanding allocation of parental responsibilities in Colorado

Colorado does not use the term child custody when referring to parental rights and responsibilities. Colorado calls the legal child custody process Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and divides parental duties into parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. 

What are Parenting Time Responsibilities in Colorado?

Parenting time responsibilities are day-to-day parental duties involving the physical care of a child. These may include meals, homework, and discipline.

Parents may share parenting time responsibilities or one parent may be a child’s primary custodian. This depends on the number of overnights each parent has with a child.

What are Decision-Making Responsibilities in Colorado?

Decision-making responsibilities may also be held jointly by parents or reside in one parent alone. A parent with decision-making responsibilities makes major life choices for a child such as a child’s:

  • Religious upbringing;
  • Medical care;
  • Schooling; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

Parents who can work together in the best interests of a child are likely to be awarded joint decision-making responsibilities.

What are The Best Interests of the Child? 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Colorado is based on the best interests of the child or children involved. Whenever possible, Colorado courts prefer a child to have frequent and continuing contact with both parents.

Colorado’s best interests of the child standard is located at Colorado Revised Statute Section 14-10-124. The court examines the factors contained in this statute when considering any parental responsibility order.

These factors are as follows:

  • The wishes of the parents;
  • The wishes of a child of sufficient maturity;
  • Any existing familial relationships;
  • The child’s ability to adjust to their home, school, and outside activities;
  • The mental and physical health of the parents;
  • The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love and affection between the child and the other parent;
  • The prior involvement of each parent in the child’s life;
  • The geographical distance between the parents’ homes;
  • The ability of the parents to make joint decisions and cooperate;
  • The ability of the parents to place the child’s needs above their own;
  • Any history of child abuse or neglect; and
  • Any history of domestic violence between the parents.

No preference is given to parents based on gender. Where there is evidence of domestic abuse, child neglect, or child abuse, the court can order supervised parenting time or deny parental contact altogether.

Parents may agree to a parenting plan that includes Allocation of Parental Responsibilities. Any parenting plan must be in the best interests of the child and meet the court’s approval.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Child Custody Attorney Today

To learn more about parental responsibilities in Colorado, reach out to an experienced Colorado child custody attorney at Hogan Omidi, PC, today. At Hogan Omidi, PC, we understand how difficult it can be to create a parenting plan that is agreeable to both parents and meets the daily needs of your child.

It is vital to work with your co-parent and choose your own Allocation of Parental Responsibilities when you are able. Otherwise, the court will enter an order on your behalf.

Meet with the skilled attorneys at Hogan Omidi, PC, to discuss creative custody solutions and maintain control of your child custody case. We can also help you with related family law matters such as divorce, legal separation, and parentage.