The divorce process is never easy, but one of the most contentious and emotionally fraught aspects of divorce is child custody. No one likes to think of an impartial judge deciding when they can and cannot see their children, but when parents cannot agree on a parenting schedule of their own, the courts must decide for them.
If you’re facing a divorce in Colorado, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to help you obtain the best possible outcome for you and your children. Before you make this critical decision, it helps to know the right questions to ask a potential child custody lawyer in Colorado before you choose.
What Are My Chances of Getting Sole Custody in Colorado?
Though Colorado is not a mandatory 50/50 child custody state, the state prioritizes the best interests of the child in all of its family law decisions. When deciding on child custody, Colorado believes that continued frequent contact with both parents is in the best interests of children in most circumstances. A shared parenting time schedule is the most common outcome in custody cases in Colorado. The state has several options for parenting time schedules that work for most families. Unless a spouse has a history of domestic violence or there are other unique circumstances indicating that the children would not be physically or emotionally safe with one parent, Colorado encourages parents in divorce cases to choose a shared parenting schedule that works for their family. If parents cannot agree on a schedule, the judge will decide for them.
A skilled child custody attorney in Colorado may be able to maximize the amount of parenting time (custody) you have by showing the courts how it is in the child’s best interests.
If We Share Custody 50/50 Does One Parent Still Have to Pay Child Support?
The state uses a formula to calculate child support payments based on the amount of each parent’s income and their share of parenting time. Unless both parents make nearly identical incomes and share custody 50/50, the higher-earning parent will have a child support obligation due to the other parent.
How Long Have You Been Practicing Family Law in Colorado?
It’s important to hire a seasoned attorney with a successful track record in family law, including child custody cases. An attorney with a strong local reputation can significantly benefit your child custody case because they are familiar with the court processes and judges within your jurisdiction
Do You Represent Both Men and Women?
Courts in Colorado do not favor the mother or father when deciding custody, but decide all custody matters in the best interests of the child.
Whether you are a mother or father seeking custody rights, sole custody, shared parenting time, or visitation, it’s important to have an attorney with experience representing others in similar situations. Ask about the attorney’s history with cases similar to yours.
What Is Your Assessment of My Child Custody Case in Colorado?
When choosing an attorney, it’s helpful to know their opinion on the most likely outcome for your case. Then choose the lawyer who believes they can achieve the outcome you are looking for. If an attorney believes your goals are unattainable they aren’t likely to work as diligently toward them. However, it’s also important to be realistic about your goals.
Will You Personally Handle My Case?
Often, the lawyer you meet with during your initial consultation isn’t the attorney who will represent you. If this is the case, it’s best to ask to speak to the attorney who will handle your case before you make your decision.
What Are Your Fees and Payment Structure?
Legal battles are expensive. If you and your spouse can negotiate through your attorneys and come to agreeable terms for custody it will save an expensive court battle. Be sure to find out what your attorney charges per hour and ask for a ballpark figure of what you might expect to pay depending on whether you want to negotiate an agreement with your spouse or argue your case in court.
A good child custody attorney offers innovative and workable solutions when it comes to child custody. Click here to sign up for a consultation today.