One of the most difficult aspects of a divorce involving children is child custody. Custody battles are common in Colorado, with neither parent willing to compromise on his or her vision of the ideal outcome. The best way to protect the best interests of your child is to keep an open mind and work with a Windsor child custody lawyer to make sound decisions for your children, your family and your future.
Attorney Stephen Vertucci and his team of experienced child custody lawyers can help you achieve a custody and support plan that puts you in the best position to meet your goals, needs and desires. If you are going through a divorce involving children in Windsor, call (970) 900-1800 today for a consultation with one of our attorneys.
Why Hire an Attorney?
A family law attorney can help you navigate Colorado’s child custody laws, identify your goals and use strategic legal techniques to accomplish them. Working with the right attorney can make something as emotionally fraught as child custody a smooth, successful and conflict-free process. Hiring an attorney is often what’s best for everyone involved in a divorce case, including the children.
The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci LLC handles family law and divorce cases in Fort Collins, Windsor, Loveland, and the surrounding areas of Northern Colorado.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
Child custody, known as the allocation of parental responsibilities in Colorado, refers to decisions regarding a family’s parenting plan in a divorce or legal separation case. It encompasses who the child will live with, which parent will make major life decisions for the child and whether there will be visitations allowed for the noncustodial parent. Allocating parental responsibilities in a divorce case in Colorado has two parts: dividing parenting time between both parents (physical custody) and sharing or dividing decision-making (legal custody).
Legal vs. Physical Custody
Legal custody is the right to make important decisions on behalf of a minor, such as where the child will go to school, his or her religion, and health care decisions. Legal custody or parental decision-making is a right that is given to both parents upon the birth of a child. During a divorce or legal separation in Colorado, however, legal custody is something that must be decided alongside physical custody.
Physical custody means having actual physical control of a child or sharing a residence with the child. It is possible for both parents to share legal and physical custody, one parent to get both types of custody or – uncommonly – for one parent to get legal custody and the other to get physical custody.
Colorado Child Custody Arrangements
If a child custody decision is given to a judge in Windsor, the child’s best interests will guide the court’s decision. In general, the courts believe that a child is better off when he or she can maintain meaningful and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. Unless there is a reason to withhold custody from one parent – such as a history of domestic violence or substance abuse – the courts will generally divide custody between both parties (shared parental responsibilities).
However, there is no presumption of a 50/50 custody division. The courts also do not favor one spouse over the other, such as the child’s mother. The courts will carefully analyze the unique situation and determine the best custody arrangement for the child based on what is in his or her best interests. No specific formula is followed in Colorado.
Do Children Have a Say?
This depends on the case. While the courts will not leave a custody decision entirely up to a child, a judge may take the child’s wishes into account. However, this will only be the case if the child is old enough and mature enough to make this decision without undue influence by either parent.
Contact a Windsor Child Custody Attorney Today
It is impossible for parents to be objective, unbiased and emotionally detached during the child custody process. This is why it is best to allow an attorney to handle your custody case for you. Breaking up a family is never easy. With assistance from an experienced child custody lawyer, however, your family can successfully get through a divorce case with minimal stress. For more information about child custody in Windsor, Colorado, contact The Law Office of Stephen Vertucci, LLC, to request a consultation.