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Child Custody in Colorado

Familiarize Yourself with Child Custody Laws in Colorado

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Courts in Colorado use several criteria to determine child custody. Primarily, the court determines custody of a child based on the best interests of the child. Additionally, courts in Colorado do not discriminate against parents based on gender. Parents who wish to file for child custody in Colorado should first become familiar with the child custody laws in this state.

Related: Help our readers by sharing your experience with child custody in Colorado.

The Best Interests of Child

In Colorado, child custody is determined by the best interests of the child. The court uses several factors to determine the best interests of the child, including:

  • The child's wishes
  • Each parent's wishes
  • The child's relationship with his/her parents and other influential persons
  • The child's adjustment to school, home and community
  • The mental and physical health of all involved parties

Joint Child Custody in Colorado

In Colorado, a judge prefers to award parents joint custody where parents are given frequent and continuous contact to the child. However, a court in Colorado will not grant custody to a parent who presents a physical or emotional danger to the child. In making a determination for joint custody, a Colorado court will consider:

  • Whether the parents have the ability to make decisions jointly
  • Whether each parent's relationship with the child is encouraging and loving
  • How the custody split will affect the encouragement of frequent and constant contact with each parent

Parenting Time and Child Custody in Colorado

In Colorado, visitation rights are referred to as parenting time. Parents who are not given primary custodial rights are entitled to parenting time. In determining appropriate parenting time, a Colorado court will consider the following factors:

  • Each parent's wishes
  • The child's wishes, if the child is mature enough to make an informed decision (Note: In Colorado, there is no specific age requirement that determines the maturity of a minor child)
  • The child's relationship with his/her parents, siblings and other influential persons
  • The geographical proximity of the parents in relation to one another
  • How well each parent places the child's needs above his/her own needs
  • The mental and physical health of all involved parties
  • Each parent's encouragement of a relationship between the child and the child's other parent

For further information about child custody in Colorado, speak with a qualified attorney or refer to the Colorado Code.

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