Protecting The Best Interests Of Your Children

Colorado stopped using the legal terms "custody" and "visitation" some time ago. Colorado statutes now refer to three primary parental responsibilities: parenting time (physical custody), decision making (legal custody) and child support.

At The Drexler Law Group, LLC, we can help you determine each aspect of child custody with the goal of reaching an agreement that ensures your child is protected. We serve clients in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas.

What To Know About Child Custody

In divorce cases, custody orders or parental responsibilities orders are entered as the divorce case proceeds through the courts. Often the custody portion of a divorce is one of the more contested issues. Here are some important things for parents to know about child custody:

  • When parents wish to formalize the parenting relationship or wish to obtain an enforceable court order to avoid the uncertainly, conflict or bullying of the other parent, the parties can file a petition for allocation of parental responsibilities.
  • Allocation of parental responsibility, or child custody, simply refers to who may make major decisions regarding the child such as religion, choice of schools, doctors, day care, etc. Some confusion arises on the difference between child support and parenting time.
  • Many parents believe that the other parent has to pay child support in order to have parenting time (custody or visitation) with the child.
  • Colorado is clear that child support and parenting time are completely different responsibilities and in some cases it may be appropriate to permit parenting time (custody or visitation) even if child support is not current.

We will advise you regarding whether the exercise of parenting time is appropriate, whether it should be suspended or restricted, or whether it is okay to self-restrict parenting time given certain emergency situations. The bottom line is that it is critical to seek professional legal advice prior to withholding parenting time.

What Happens When Parents Disagree?

If you and your spouse, or the opposing party, cannot agree on these issues, a court can order an evaluation or investigation that assesses your situation and what parenting plan may be in the child's or children's best interest.

The evaluator, called a child and family investigator (CFI) or a parental responsibilities evaluator (PRE), is usually a mental health professional or children's expert who has specialized training and education to make assessments and provide recommendations to the court regarding the best interest of your child or children.

Not only can we assist in the selection of an appropriate evaluator or investigator, we are able to explain the primary function of the entire process and advise you on the issues that will be addressed, investigated and reported.

The evaluation and investigation process can be the difference between a well-received evaluation and an evaluation that leaves major repair work to be performed in your case.We recommend highly that you seek professional legal advice well prior to a child family investigation or parental responsibilities evaluation, since fundamental differences exist between a CFI and PRE including the qualifications, training, ability and cost of the evaluation.

The attorneys at The Drexler Law Group, LLC, will explore the differences with you and advise which expert would be a better fit for your case.

Tell Us About Your Case In A Free Consultation

To schedule a time to talk to one of our attorneys about your child custody matter, please call our office at 719-359-4623 or get in touch with us online. We look forward to meeting you.