Parenting Time And Visitation

When Parents Can't Agree, A Judge Will Decide

In divorce, issues involving the children are often the most emotionally difficult. If parents cannot work out a parenting plan by themselves that is accepted by the court, then ultimately the court will have to come up with its own decree. This lack of control can be challenging for parents, as they do not have control over what the judge decides.

We believe that the best results are obtained in these matters when our advocacy is very thorough, both in our preparation and in the presentation of our clients' positions to the court-appointed experts and to the court itself. With our long experience litigating family matters, our Denver child custody attorneys know how to prepare for and handle cases in a way that ensures the best possible outcome for our clients.

Can One Parent 'Win' A Parenting Time Conflict?

Family law courts in Colorado seek to maintain the child-parent relationship with both parents, unless there are substance abuse, domestic violence or other issues that could threaten the safety and well-being of the child. Even if a parent who has historically provided the most care for the child ends up with primary parenting time in a divorce, the other parent will usually still maintain decision-making responsibility, as well as some parenting time of his or her own.

A parenting plan will take into consideration many factors, such as the age of the children, the proximity of the parents' homes, and the level of comfort and support offered at each home. In cases where school-age children stay at one residence during the school week, the remaining time available for visitation can become particularly important. Arrangement for these times is usually specified in a parenting plan, and may include:

  • Weekends

  • Holidays

  • Vacations

Can The Parent With Primary Parenting Time Refuse Visitation?

Even if the paying parent stops paying child support, the parent with primary parenting time cannot refuse to let the other parent spend time with the children. Child custody is an issue separate from child support, and one parent's failure to pay child support cannot be used as a reason to deny that parent contact with his or her children. Unless the court issues a modification of the child support or parenting time agreement, one parent cannot deny another parent visitation rights.

What If One Parent Showed Little Interest In The Children Before The Divorce?

The Colorado courts err on the side of providing both parents the opportunity to maintain or re-establish relationships with their children. This is true even in cases where one parent previously did not have significant contact with his or her children. Unless a parent has an issue with substance abuse, a history of domestic violence or otherwise poses a threat to the family, the courts will not deny that parent the right of visitation in the event of a divorce or other relationship split.

Contact Us To Discuss Your Situation

We look forward to working with you to resolve your concerns about parenting time and visitation. Contact us online or call 303-500-5738 to schedule your free initial consultation with a Denver lawyer.