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When parents in Colorado separate or divorce, one of the most critical and emotional issues to resolve is child custody. Colorado child custody laws are designed to ensure the child’s best interests are always prioritized, but navigating these laws can be complex. This blog post will provide a general overview of child custody laws in Colorado and why it’s essential to seek guidance from a qualified family law attorney. 

Terminology: Parental Responsibilities, Not Custody 

In Colorado, the traditional term “custody” has been replaced with “parental responsibilities.” This shift in language reflects the state’s focus on the ongoing role both parents play in a child’s life, even after a separation. Parental responsibilities involve two key components: 

Types of Parental Responsibility Arrangements 

Colorado courts can grant several parenting responsibility arrangements: 

The “Best Interests of the Child” Standard 

When determining parental responsibilities, Colorado courts are mandated to prioritize the “best interests of the child.” This involves considering numerous factors, including: 

The Role of Parenting Plans 

When parents can agree on a plan for sharing parental responsibilities, they can submit it to the court for approval. If parents cannot agree, the court may order mediation or appoint a decision-maker to help create a parenting plan. A well-crafted parenting plan should outline: 

Modifying Parental Responsibilities 

Established parental responsibility arrangements are not set in stone. Life circumstances change, and the court may modify a parenting plan if a substantial and continuing change affects the child’s best interests. Examples of situations that might warrant modification include: 

Why You Need an Experienced Family Law Attorney 

Navigating Colorado’s child custody laws can be complicated and emotionally charged. A skilled family law attorney can: 

Disclaimer: This blog post provides general information about child custody laws in Colorado and is not a substitute for legal advice. Please consult with a qualified family law attorney to discuss your specific situation. 

We’re Here to Help 

Robert Wiest understands the stress and uncertainty of child custody issues. Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn how we can support you and protect your child’s well-being. 

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