The way that child custody rulings are evaluated is quite similar from state to state. In summary, all judges in child custody cases seek to create a ruling that works in the best interests of the child. However, the law does differ slightly, especially when it comes to the norms and best practices in each state.
If you are filing for custody in the state of Colorado, it is important that you understand how the judges and the child custody courts operate in the state. It is also a good idea to take the time to familiarize yourself with the specific terminology that is used in Colorado.
What terminology is used in Colorado in relation to child custody?
The first thing to note is that the state of Colorado has stopped officially using the term "custody", and has instead replaced it with the "allocation of parental responsibilities". This is to more accurately describe the difference between parenting time and making parental decisions.
How parenting time is calculated
Since Colorado differentiates between parenting time and parental decisions, they are calculated differently, too. Parental time is determined based upon the child's wishes if they are old enough to make this decision, and if they are young, their parents' wishes will be taken into account. The competencies and mental health of each parent is also considered.
How decision-making responsibilities are calculated
Usually, these responsibilities will be allocated to both parents. This will be altered if it is believed that one parent would make inappropriate decisions or if the relationship is strained.
If you are filing for child custody in Colorado, it is important to take action and be proactive in your pursuit.
Source: The Spruce, "Colorado Child Custody Guidelines," accessed April 11, 2018