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What factors affect a court’s decision on custody?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Child Custody & Parenting Time

Child custody is often one of the most complex factors in a divorce. Both parents want to spend as much time as possible with their kids, and it can be difficult to navigate the complex emotions of this process to reach a reasonable custody and visitation decision. When a court is making a decision regarding child custody, there are several factors that could affect the final terms.

A Colorado parent may find it beneficial to learn how courts make decisions regarding how much time a child will spend with each of his or her parents. Finances are a major concern for both parties during a divorce, but money is typically not the deciding factor in child custody. Instead, the court looks at certain things that could have a possible impact on a child’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Money and other important issues

Money is a critical aspect of a divorce, and a parent’s income and ability to support a child is an important consideration. However, a court is much more likely to prioritize the following when deciding on custody and visitation schedules:

  • Possible drug or alcohol use by either parent
  • Childcare arrangements
  • Work schedules of each parent
  • Observation of the parents by the court
  • Stability, home life and desires of the children
  • Any evidence of abuse or neglect
  • Educational opportunities available with each parent
  • The parent who has been the main caretaker for the children

Finances are not the main focus when making custody decisions, but a parent must have the resources to provide his or her children with a safe environment in which to stay. If there is no evidence of this, a parent may not have overnight visitation with his or her children, or the court may decide on supervised visitation.

Financial support

Both parents have the responsibility of financially supporting their minor children. The finances of each parent will be a critical factor in determining which parent will have to pay and how much the support payments will be. The court may look at factors such as income, other financial obligations, physical health and more.

Even during a divorce, you want what is best for your children. If you have concerns about your custody rights, visitation options or how the court will make decisions, you may find it helpful to start by learning about Colorado custody laws and how you can protect your parental rights.