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Child Custody

Trusted Child Custody Attorney in Denver Asserts Your Parental Rights

Established Colorado family law firm advocates for the best interests of children

For help resolving custody and visitation issues, parents in Denver and the surrounding areas have come to the law firm of Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC since 1993. I work with clients to understand their family circumstances and the needs of their children so that I can negotiate settlements and pursue rulings that support children’s best interests while helping parents to preserve their bonds with their sons and daughters.

Caring lawyer represents parents in all types of custody arrangements

In Colorado, parenting time and decision-making responsibilities are legally referred to as “parental responsibilities” rather than “custody.” These responsibilities may be allocated in the following ways:

  • Joint parental responsibilities — Colorado prefers both parents to share their parental decision-making authority, or legal custody. Each parent has an equal say in how the child is raised in regard to religion, education and medical care.
  • Sole parental responsibilities — Only one parent has authority to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing and everyday life. Sole legal custody is usually reserved for cases where one parent gives up their parental rights or has those rights taken away.
  • Joint physical custody — A child splits time living between the homes of each parent. Where the child lives and for how much of the year depends on a number of factors, including the work schedules of parents and the school schedule of the child.
  • Sole physical custody — The child’s primary home is with one parent. The other parent may still spend alone time with the child over weekends, holidays or other designated days. This noncustodial parent is usually the parent required to pay child support.

If divorcing parents cannot resolve disagreements on their own or through alternative dispute resolution, the court will issue an order designed to serve the child’s best interests. In accordance with Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-124(1.5)(b), judges make custody determinations by evaluating the parents’ ability to cooperate, their past involvement with the child, and whether they will promote continuing contact between the child and the other parent. Whatever type of custody you seek, I will advocate for your children’s welfare and your right to remain an important part of their life.

Respected advocate assists parents with visitation rights in Colorado

When one parent has sole physical custody, the other parent will likely maintain rights to parenting time, or visitation. Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-124(1.5)(a) outlines the factors a court considers before issuing a parenting time order, which include the:

  • Wishes of each parent
  • Wishes of the child (generally age 12 and up)
  • Relationships between the child and his or her parents
  • Child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community
  • Health of all individuals
  • Physical proximity of parents

Courts can deny visitation if it would endanger the child’s physical health or significantly impair emotional development.

If one parent tries to block the other from their legally allocated parenting time, the court can be asked to enforce the parenting time order. I handle enforcement petitions and represent parents in hearings.

Seasoned conflict negotiator provides help with setting up a parenting plan

A parenting plan is an official written statement that details how parents will divide responsibilities to care for their child. The plan should include clear statements about when, where and with whom the child will spend time, accounting for regular schedules and special occasions. It can also include guidelines for how parents address disagreements and desired changes to the schedule.

Parents can work together to create a parenting plan and submit it to the court for approval, or each parent can propose and submit a plan on their own. The court makes visitation and custody orders based on the locations of both parents, their schedules, finances, the child’s needs and other factors.

Responsive counselor advises on grandparents’ custody rights to visit their grandchildren

In Colorado, grandparents may enjoy time with their grandchildren during their son’s or daughter’s scheduled parenting time. They can also seek their own visitation rights by filing a motion with the court. The petition should explain why visitation would be in the child’s best interests. It should also propose how the arrangement would work, in terms of transportation and caretaking. If the child’s parents are together and decide not to allow the child to spend time with his or her grandparents, grandparents do not have an automatic right to visitation.

Contact a highly regarded Denver child custody lawyer for a free initial consultation

At the family law firm of Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC in Denver, Colorado, I help to protect the rights of parents and children in child custody matters. To schedule a free initial consultation, call my office at 720-386-5511 or contact me online.

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Denver Office
  • Denver Office
    200 Union Boulevard
    Suite 200
    Lakewood, Colorado 80228
    Phone: 303-520-0387