While many people believe that mothers receive preferential treatment during custody disputes, there are actually no set rules in Colorado regarding which parent will automatically get custody of children. Indeed, Colorado courts primary concern when determining custody is a child's best interests, not the gender of the parent.
The beginning process of divorce typically follows a certain pattern. After attempts to reconcile the marriage fail, couples tend to start taking the initial steps of separating while filing for divorce. One of these first steps is usually for one spouse to move out of the marital home. For childless couples, this move may not affect much more than property division in a divorce. However, for couples with children, a move from the marital home may affect future custody arrangements.
The term child custody has not been used in Colorado Family Court since 1999. Since then, it has been replaced with the term parental responsibility. This change of term does not impact how child custody is decided. While most aspects of a child custody case are pretty universal, in Colorado not only are grandparent's rights weighed but, in certain cases, a child may be allowed to suggest which parent he or she would like to live with.
When divorcing parents are being examined by the family court for custody purposes, they may feel as though their decision making, privacy and intellect are being picked apart. In the event that the mental health of one parent is in question, these feelings may be even more intense. And as much as the parent in question may feel violated by being scrutinized for their mental health, it is unfortunately the family court's right to consider all aspects of a parent's life when determining custody.
Divorce is difficult for all involved but especially for the children of divorcing parents. During the process of divorce, a child's life is completely changed. Their home life and schedule may change drastically, leaving them feeling frustrated and out of control. The last thing a child of divorcing parents needs is to have their mother or father's anger and resentment placed on their shoulders. Unfortunately, it is common for divorcing parents to say hurtful things about each other in the presence of their children. When these comments directly impact the feelings or thoughts a child has for a parent, it is commonly called parental alienation syndrome.
Emotions run especially high during custody battles. Although not extremely common, child abduction by a family member does happen. For the parent left behind, the uncertainty of their child's whereabouts, and fear for their safety can be petrifying. Understandably so, many times the first thing a parent in this situation does, is reach for the phone.
Interacting with one's children can be difficult enough for parents who still live close to each other after the separation, but those parents, who relocate far away or to another state after the split, can be at a particular disadvantage when wanting to see their children. A new option for non-custodial parents is making headway in the area of child custody parenting plans. Virtual visitation may offer a solution to those parents who live too far from their children to physically see them on a regular basis.
When married couples with children divorce, one of the most difficult factors to consider is what will happen with their children. After all, the children are the ones who are often the most confused, saddened and angry about the separation. In a home where both parents loved and provided for the children, the emotional tax can be even stronger. As couples find the need to dissolve their marriages, they would do well to consider child custody arrangements that benefit everyone, especially their children.
A new trend is occurring throughout the nation to provide fathers more equal parenting time and rights to their children after a separation or divorce. In the past, mothers were typically given full custody of their children while fathers had only limited visitation rights. This new movement is good news for both fathers and their children as recent research has concluded that children typically do better when they are able to share time equally between both parents.
In our last post, we talked about an astonishing and extreme child custody case that spans the Atlantic Ocean. Today, let's talk about another critical aspect of divorce that also involves children: child support. This is often an overlooked, though still vitally important, factors in a divorce, and people need to realize what they are getting into when a child support agreement is in place.