Best Interest of Child
DIVORCE AND CHILDREN: How much parenting time can you expect?
Colorado has a legal presumption that it is in the best interest of children to have frequent, continual, and meaningful contacts with both parents. This may take a lot of different shapes and sizes because each parents’ situation is unique and different. The judge will expect you to encourage the child to see the other parent and not talk bad about the other parent in front of the child.
In determining parenting time, the judge will utilize factors that have been set by the legislature as a guide for determining parenting time for the parties. These factors are referred to as the “Best Interest Factors.” Some of the factors are:
- the wishes of the child’s parents as to parenting time
- the wishes of the child (if older)
- the interaction and interrelationship between the child and parent, any siblings and/or other family members
- child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community
- the mental and physical health of all individuals involved
- ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party
- whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support
- physical proximity of the parties to each other
- ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs
- parties ability to corporate together
- past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child indicate an ability to be mutual decision makers
- if mutual decision-making will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each of the parties
Although one factor is not more important than another, it has been noted by many judges that a parents ability to move past the issues with the other parent for the good of the child shows that the parent is able to put the child’s needs ahead of their own. Conversely, if a parent asks only to attack the other parent or brings the child into the fight, a court may find that this action shows the parent cannot put the needs of the child first and may award less time with the child.
We have experience in representing clients in child custody disputes involving:
- Relocation (when one party seeks to leave the state with the children)
- Initial determination of parenting time schedules
- Modification of parent time schedules
- Emergency Motions to Restrict a Parent’s Parenting Time