PROTECTING THE BEST INTERESTS OF YOUR CHILDREN
When two divorced, separated or never-married people share a child, determining custody and visitation can be difficult. When establishing a child custody arrangement, courts will look at the best interests of the child. With the help of an experienced child custody attorney in Fort Collins, you can develop a custody arrangement that benefits both you and your children.
At Shufflebarger Law Office, we understand how Colorado child custody laws work. We compassionately communicate all of your options, ensuring that you are properly prepared for any outcome. We offer highly responsive service, affordable fees and trustworthy representation during your child custody case. Read our testimonials here.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CHILD CUSTODY?
It is important to understand the different types of custody that may be awarded. Where your child lives and who has primary parenting responsibility are determined by the type of custody arrangement:
- Physical. Whichever parent has the right to have the child live with them has physical custody. Parents can share physical custody. Generally, after a divorce, the child lives primarily with one parent and has visitation with the other.
- Legal. If you have legal custody of your child, you have the right to make decisions about the child's upbringing, including education, religion and medical care. Ideally, the court would prefer to give both parents legal custody, unless it would harm the child.
- Sole. A parent can have either sole legal or sole physical custody of a child if the other parent is deemed to be unfit. Even if one parent is granted sole custody, the other may be given visitation rights.
- Joint. Parents can share joint physical custody, joint legal custody or both. A schedule will be determined and the parents must work together to make decisions about the child's upbringing.
We can help you determine what the best type of custody is for your situation and we will work hard to achieve it.
How is Visitation Determined in a Child Custody Case?
Having a relationship with both parents is important to a child's wellbeing. Visitation is a crucial part of any child custody arrangement. If you and your child's other parent can agree on a parenting plan, you can submit it to the court.
The court will approve the plan as long as it is deemed “reasonable,” meaning it realistically takes into account the schedules and needs of both parents and the children. If you cannot agree to a plan on your own, then the court will order one.
In certain situations, grandparents may also have a claim to visitation rights. At our firm, we look closely at your circumstances to determine what plan is right for you. We stand up for your parental rights.
When Should Child Custody Be Modified?
As time goes on, your living situation may change. If one parent moves to a new town or state, it might not be feasible for the child to spend as much time with them. The court will not modify a custody order unless there has been a substantial change in circumstances. As always, the child's best interests are the primary concern of the court. We can help you modify your parenting plan to better reflect your current living situation.
As long as the custody arrangement allows for it, a custodial parent cannot deny the non-custodial parent visitation rights. This is illegal, and the custodial parent could be held in contempt of court for violating the custody order. At our firm, we can help you enforce your parenting plan to ensure that you are not denied the time with your child that you are legally entitled to.
How To Get Full Custody in Colorado
While the state of Colorado's first desire is for parents to split custody for children of divorce, a parent may gain sole custody in various ways. One way that a parent can get full custody of their child(ren) is if their former spouse is deemed as an unfit parent to remain in any sort of custody of their child(ren).
Unfit parents may be exemplified through abusive words or actions, recent criminal charges, committing criminal acts with the child(ren) present, and more. If you'd like more information on how to gain full custody of your child(ren), get in touch with Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. today for your initial consultation. We do our best to ensure that our clients are well-pleased with the custody that they given!
Frequently Asked Child Custody Questions
Do parents who share custody need to pay child support?
In Colorado, child support is determined on gross monthly income and other relevant expenses. Now, the parent who has the child a majority of the time is a factor in determining child support payments but isn't the only factor. Every circumstance is different, even in a shared child custody situation.
Can a child decide which parent to live with?
Colorado child custody laws do not specify a specific age limit for when a child can choose which parent to live with. However, the courts do consider the child's wishes to a certain extent.
Do the courts favor the mother over the father?
In Colorado, the courts aren't allowed to make a child custody decision based on sex.
Contact Our Trustworthy Attorney Today
If you are dealing with child custody issues in Fort Collins, turn to Shufflebarger Law Office, P.C. for help. Call us at (970) 599-1581 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with our Fort Collins child custody lawyer.
Our office is conveniently located in Fort Collins, only a few blocks from the Larimer County Courthouse. We serve clients in Larimer and Weld counties.