You love your children. Like most Colorado parents, you want what’s best for them even if it means you must make some sort of personal sacrifice to provide it. For instance, if your child is struggling in math class and really needs tutorial help to make the grade, you may take on extra hours at work to cover the cost of a tutor. When you told you kids you were getting divorced, you knew there’d be more sacrifices in your future.
You also knew you’d have to meet with the other parent involved to negotiate a new parenting plan. This worries you because the two of you rarely see eye-to-eye, which is part of what led to your divorce in the first place. A key factor in successful child custody negotiations is to know your rights and research state laws ahead of time. It also helps if you understand the process the court uses to make decisions regarding such matters so you know what to expect during proceedings.
The court will approve or decide your child custody arrangement
Resolving all the important issues surrounding future care of your children post-divorce can be quite daunting. Where will they live? Will one or both parents have custody? Such questions are only the tip of the iceberg regarding everything that you must iron out before the court will issue your divorce decree. The following information sheds light on the decision-making process:
- If you hope to avoid litigation, you can retain legal representation to enter mediation sessions with your ex. In such meetings, you would agree to cooperate and compromise as necessary to develop a parenting plan that is fair and agreeable to both parties.
- Once your plan is in writing, you can submit it to the court for approval. This is often the easiest and least stressful means for moving forward as a family in divorce.
- If you think mediation sessions will not be possible because your relationship is already so acrimonious that amicable discussion would likely be impossible, you may have to go the litigation route instead.
- If there’s a particular issue causing you concern — for instance, if you suspect your children’s other parent of drug or alcohol addiction or child abuse — you can ask your attorney to bring it to the immediate attention of the court.
The main thing to keep in mind if you are relying on the court to make all your decisions for you is that you must adhere to whatever the court decides whether you like it or not.
You may need legal help
Hopefully, you have a strong support system in place with friends and family to lean on when times get rough. Your children’s best interests are a high priority in court. If you believe they are at risk or someone is trying to impede your ability to parent as you see fit, you can rectify the situation by using the legal resources available to you.