Denver Child Custody Lawyers
Motivated By The Children’s Best Interests
Custody conflicts (now known as “parental responsibility” issues) are often one of the most difficult and emotional issues of divorce. Especially in more acrimonious divorces, children can easily become pawns in the battle between their parents. At the Denver The Law Offices of Rodger C. Daley and Associates, we do everything we can to ensure that any custody negotiations produce the result that’s in the best interest of the children. While determining exactly what a child’s “best interest” might be can be a murky process, we focus on taking the emotion out of the situation to come to a settlement that’s fair and sustainable to both parents, while best protecting the children’s’ safety and well-being.
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.
Parental Responsibility And Decision-Making
In Colorado, “custody” is now known as “parental responsibility,” and it pertains to the balance of time a parent spends with his or her children. Parental responsibility can be either primary or joint, and determines where the children will live for what balance of time. Apart from “parental responsibility,” there is also “decision-making responsibility.” When a parent has this responsibility, he or she maintains the right to make important decisions about a child’s life; for example, about education, religion, vacation and other important issues. A parent, therefore, could have limited parental responsibility, but still maintain decision-making responsibility.
Parental Responsibility In A Variety Of Contexts
Custody issues are not all the same, and must be worked out in a number of situations, including:
- In the breakup of a marriage
- In a dispute between parents who have never married
- Between divorced parents subsequent to the dissolution of their marriage (post-decree)
Where paternity has been legally established, both parents have rights concerning their children. Historically, custody disputes would favor the mother when granting primary physical custody. This is no longer the case. In Colorado, the courts favor granting joint custody to parents, unless doing so is somehow to the detriment to the child. To find out more about your particular situation, contact us by calling 720-773-5708 or by contacting us online.
Determining The Best Interest Of The Child
Many factors go into the decision about what constitutes the best interest of a child in a custody negotiation. Some of these factors may include:
- The parent’s preference
- The child’s preference
- Familiarity and comfort with a home, school or neighborhood
- The health of the child or parent
- Any history of parental substance abuse or domestic violence
- The distance of the parents’ homes from each other
- The child’s relationship with other people in either home
- Each parent’s willingness to provide a safe and supportive home
In certain cases where both parents are unfit because of issues involving substance abuse or incarceration, or where one or both parents are deceased, a relative such as a grandparent, or even a third party outside the family may seek custody.
Parenting Time And Decision-Making Responsibility
The issue of how much parenting time (formerly known as “visitation”) each parent is entitled to have with the children is frequently the most important issue to be resolved in a divorce. Proper handling of this issue requires our attorneys to thoroughly understand and thereafter present all facts and circumstances that are relevant to a determination of the parenting time arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.