Divorcing with Children in Colorado
Divorce with children adds legal and emotional complexities. In addition to a Separation Agreement for determining asset & debt division of both parties and establishing issues of maintenance and division of property, the parties must determine a parenting plan that will be in the children's best interests.
How will children change your divorce?
In Colorado, the best interests of the children are determined based on the following factors:
- Parenting time wishes of the child’s parents;
- If a child is mature enough, courts will consider the opinion and wishes of the child;
- The nature of relationships and interactions between the child and his or her parents, siblings, relatives, and others who may come into contact with the child regularly;
- How the child will likely adjust to a new home, school, and community;
- Mental or physical health, unless severe or disabling, will not be a basis for denying or restricting parenting time;
- Whether parents or parties involved are able to share responsibility for the child;
- How parents or parties have been involved with the child and with each other in the past;
- Physical proximity of parents or parties after a decision is made;
- The criminal record and history of parents or parties involved, with particular attention being given to past instances of child abuse or neglect and domestic violence;
- Whether a parent or party is able to place the needs of a child above their own.
As parents facing divorce are often unable to agree upon what is in the best interests of their children, the court will involve a neutral third party, a Child and Family Investigator (CFI), to meet with the children and the parents and make recommendations for the court as to what he or she believes is in the best interests of the children.
The courts in Colorado also require parents to take a class about parenting after divorce. Each judicial district offers a schedule of when such classes are available.
Another consideration during a divorce with children is child support. Child support is legislatively dictated by the number of children, the number of overnights each parent has with the children, the incomes of the parties, the amount of health insurance paid for the children, childcare costs, and any extraordinary expenses for the children that may be taken into account.
We Can Help
At Feldmann Nagel Margulis, we strongly believe that having a Colorado divorce lawyer involved throughout your family law proceeding is necessary and will most likely save you costs caused by unclear terms in the future. Contact us to help guide you through the complex problems of ending a marriage with children involved.