Colorado looks at child custody differently, and far more reaching, than a lot of people realize. First, Colorado no longer uses the term “child custody” as the State thinks who has possession, a rather degrading term like the kids are property, does not fit the encompassing nature of taking care of children that are caught up in adults splitting up. Second, Colorado tries to be extremely fair to all parties involved, but looks out for the kids first.
“Parental Responsibilities” is the phrase now used in Colorado, and how those responsibilities are split up and handled makes a difference to the court. Colorado believes kids in a separation or divorce are truly the ones most vulnerable, and the court makes every effort to protect interests of minors. When a decree of dissolution or separation agreement is entered to the court, whether the parties are married legally or not, the court will want to know how the allocation of duties regarding the children is being decided upon, divided, and who has what responsibilities. This covers not only where the children will live and when, and who pays for what, but other factors like vacations, holidays, and times that need to be shared for responsible raising of the children. This applies in military families as well, where duty station assignment may cause hardship on the children.
They will want it in print, as a legal document, finalized by the court. Verbal agreements too often become “he said, she says” and get nowhere, with the kids too often being losers. The court will want to see clear statements about who has obligations for support, housing, insurance, decision making, and how those conversations will take place even. There is nothing left to chance when it comes to making a clear plan for the care and well being of any minor children in a home undergoing split in Colorado.
This also means Colorado tries to be balanced in its’ response to roles of each parent, being as fair, equitable, and equal as possible in things like visitation times, expenses, and other issues. The court will expect parents, divorced or not, to pay their fair share and to be allowed a part of any decisions made regarding the children. This also figures into when a parent decides to move out of state, and thinks they will just take the kids along. Skipped parenting is a no-no in Colorado and a very good way to find yourself south of the law.
When you need good advise about how to negotiate an Allocation of Parental Responsibility agreement during a separation or divorce procedure in Colorado, you need a Family Law practice that knows what they are doing. Patricia Perello in Colorado Springs has a lot of experience and her first consultation is free. She is also reasonably priced, a big issue during a divorce.