Helping Parents Navigate Colorado’s Child Custody Laws
In most divorces or breakups between couples with children, allocation of parental responsibility is the most contentious issue to be resolved. In a time when same-sex couples, stepparents, unmarried parents, and multiple-parent households are prevalent, determining what is in the best interest of a child is more complex than ever.
At Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C., we represent biological parents, nonbiological parents, adoptive parents, and other parties in custody matters in Colorado. Our firm has extensive family law experience and focuses on protecting the rights of our clients while obtaining outcomes that provide children with the relationships and environment they need and deserve.
What Is Child Custody?
Child custody refers to the rights and responsibilities parents have regarding their child. Responsibilities involve meeting the child’s basic needs, including housing, health care, education and fulfillment of emotional needs, to mention a few. Rights include having the power to make decisions regarding the child’s upbringing and spending adequate time with the child, as it is in the child’s best interest to have both parents in their life. After a legal separation or divorce in Colorado, parents should agree on a parenting time plan to define responsibilities and obtain parenting time.
How Do I Get Parenting Time?
Your best effort to gain quality parenting time with your child(ren) is by filing an action with the Domestic Relations County Court. The Court will require good faith efforts for the parents to mediate and attempt to come to their own resolution. If matters cannot be resolved in mediation, then a parent may request a hearing for the Judge to make Orders for parenting time.
Allocation Of Parental Responsibility
The allocation of parental responsibility, commonly called “child custody,” is separated into two primary issues:
- Parenting time and visitation
Your parenting time will be the schedule that you and your child’s other parent or the court sets that is found to be in the best interests of your child. Decision-making responsibility is the allocation of major decisions to one or both parents. Our team of lawyers can work with you to ensure both of these issues are properly addressed in your parenting plan.
Child Custody Will Impact Child Support
In Colorado, child support is based on a specific formula that takes into account who is the primary parent, the number of overnights each parent has with the children, the income of both parties, maintenance payments, and other health- and education-related payments that each parent makes in support of the children.
Our attorneys can help you understand how your choices regarding a parenting plan and separation agreement may affect your child support payments.
With high income individuals, the “formula” does not apply. These cases require a special analysis that takes into consideration the needs of the child and the standard of living prior to the parental separation.
With self-employed individuals or business owners, the determination of income can be very complex. Our attorneys pride themselves on understanding the income of a business and reading and understanding tax returns. Determination of income is a critical factor in determining child support.
Representation For Nonbiological And Same-Sex Parents
Families are not one size fits all, and nonbiological parents are often responsible for the care and nurturing of children in a household. The rights of nonbiological parents is an emerging area of the law that our firm has taken an interest in. We are published in two precedent-setting Court of Appeals opinions regarding nonbiological parents seeking custody of a child (see links below).
Denver Visitation Lawyers | Call 303-395-4773
Our attorneys, handpicked by renowned family law attorney Cynthia L. Ciancio, understand what it takes to protect the rights of parents and other parties seeking custody rights. Contact us to schedule a case evaluation with our Denver, Westminster and Breckenridge child custody lawyers.