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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.