Making decisions regarding your children can be one of the most challenging aspects of any divorce, separation, or breakup. While you undoubtedly want what is best for your children, it can be difficult to create an arrangement that fully recognizes the rights of both parents. At Pesch Law Office PC, we are sensitive to the intensively personal nature of proceedings of allocating parental responsibilities and are prepared to provide the legal guidance you need.
Protecting Parents Rights
In Colorado, the traditional notion of "child custody" is seen as a more cooperative process known as the "allocation of parental responsibilities." While many of the basic principles remained the same, the focus shifted from "winning" or "losing" a sense of ownership of a child toward the idea that each parent has a role to play in raising his or her child.
Colorado family court judges generally lean toward a parenting arrangement that keep both parents directly involved in their child's upbringing and care. In Colorado, parents can make the major decisions in a child's life as co-parents. Major decisions in a child's life center around educational pursuits, religious up-bringing, medical care and participation in extra-curricular activities. With joint decision-making, both parents, are expected to work together in making these important decisions regarding the child. If an agreement cannot be reached, the parties are required to bring the issue to a mediator for resolution before seeking court intervention.
If such cooperation is not possible or reasonable, the court may allocate decision-making authority to one parent alone or divide the decision-making between the parents. Allocating the decision-making individually eliminates the requirement of co-parenting. Regardless, each parent has the right to school records, medical records, and day care records. The over-riding consideration for the court is what is determined to be in the best interest of the child. Our firm is equipped to help you develop a parental arrangement that appropriately addresses your family's unique situation.
Finding the Help You Need
Attorney Susan Marie Pesch has been advising parents for more than 25 years. She understands that decision-making responsibilities are separate and apart from the time each parent spends with their child or reasonable parenting time—previously called visitation. Your parenting schedule will be unique to your family and will include a division of the school year, summer, holidays, special occasions, and vacation time. The best place to start in determining a schedule is to consider the child's age, attachment to each parent, their school schedule, your work schedule and individual family traditions for holiday time.
A court can limit or restrict a parent's parenting time if the situation requires. The court presumes that the involvement of both parents is in the best interest of the child until evidence shows otherwise. If you are being denied access to your child, this situation may be remedied by the court. At Pesch Law Office PC, we understand that a negotiated agreement for the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time is often better than one ordered by the court after a protracted hearing. With that in mind, we work hard to find creative solutions that keep both parents fully invested in the process and invested in their child's well-being, while avoiding stressful litigation whenever possible. Attorney Pesch will discuss retaining the assistance of a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) or a Parental Rights Evaluation (PRE) by a mental health professional to assist you reaching an agreement or to assist the court in making a determination.
If you are facing a child related dispute regarding decision-making or parenting time or if you have general child custody questions, contact our office. Call 303-567-7922 to discuss your case with an experienced Colorado family lawyer today. Our firm is proud to serve families throughout the Denver metro area with their most challenging legal matters.
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