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The Best Interests of the Child

The Best Interests of the Child

Information from a Trusted Denver Child Custody Attorney

Most parents can understand what the concept of “the best interests of the child” means, but few realize how extensive and detailed this consideration can be in family court. Colorado has specific laws and criteria to establish the best interests of children on a case-by-case basis and parents can sometimes be blindsided by how these distinctions are made and custody decisions are finally made.

At my firm, Karin Johnson Chatfield LLC, I always ensure that parents are well aware of how child custody decisions are made in Colorado. My clients are always prepared to provide detailed, honest answers to the court and are ready to confront any factors that may hurt their chances at a preferred custody arrangement. Throughout every step of the legal process, clients who come to my firm benefit from my three decades of legal experience and can trust that the best possible outcome is within reach.

Get the guidance you need to arrive at a custody arrangement that’s best for your child. Contact my firm at 720-386-5511 today.


When parents cannot agree on child custody, the court steps in to determine what custody arrangement would be in the child’s best interests. There are actually two major circumstances that require these considerations: parental decision-making and parenting time.

Criteria for decision-making determinations is detailed in C.R.S. 14-10-124(1.5)(b) and includes:

  • Evidence that the parents can work together to make parental decisions
  • Evidence that joint decision-making has reflected values and commitment and provided a “positive and nourishing relationship” with the child
  • Evidence that mutual decision-making will continue to foster continued contact with the child
  • Whether a parent has an objection to another parent who has demonstrated child abuse or neglect
  • Whether a parent has an objection to another parent who has been guilty of spousal abuse (unless the court deems the circumstances safe)

Criteria for parenting time determinations is detailed in C.R.S. 14-10-124(1.5)(a) and includes:

  • The wishes of the parent
  • The wishes of the child (if 12 or older)
  • The relationships between the child, the parents, siblings, and others
  • The child’s engagement with their home, school, and community
  • The physical and mental health of all individuals involved
  • The parents’ ability to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Whether the prior arrangement reflected values, commitment, and support
  • The physical proximity of all parties to one another
  • Whether any parent has demonstrated child abuse or neglect
  • Whether either parent has demonstrated spousal abuse
  • The ability of either parent to put a child’s needs before their own

Do you have more concerns about your upcoming child custody battle? If so, I encourage you to contact my office today. I’m ready to hear your story and advocate for your preferred custody arrangement with all the diligence, compassion, and vigilance it deserves.

As a Denver child custody lawyer, I am ready to start addressing your concerns today. Contact me to request a free case evaluation.

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    Lakewood, Colorado 80228
    Phone: 303-520-0387