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Parenting Time Schedules & Child Custody in Colorado

Commonly referred to as "child custody," parenting time and decision-making arrangements must be legally decided to allocate the parents’ care for their children. Parents can either negotiate and agree to parent time schedules and decision-making responsibilities for their children, or the court can make those determinations for the parties when they cannot agree.

Parties may choose a wide variety of parenting time schedules to split time with their children. Depending on many individual factors—including the distance the parents choose to live from each other—the parties may create a plan that allows for each parent to spend time with the children while keeping the children’s best interests at the center of this plan.

Decision-making responsibility addresses the way the parties will make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, including their education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. The parties can choose to have joint responsibility as to all of these activities, or one party can request sole responsibility to make those major decisions for the children.

If you are dealing with a child custody dispute, speak with our attorneys today to discuss your options.

Enforcing Child Custody

While a child custody order represents an agreement or legal decision handed down by a family law court, that does not mean both parties are going to adhere to the court's orders. In some instances, the court must intervene to ensure that the other party follows the parenting plan or court order. If you need legal assistance enforcing child custody orders, contact our firm right away. Our Colorado child custody attorneys will review your situation and help you take the steps necessary to get your order enforced.

Modifications of Child Custody

Even after a court has issued permanent orders regarding your children in divorce or legal separation proceedings, circumstances can change. If you need to make modifications to child custody, consult with a Colorado child custody attorney from our firm right away. We can answer your questions and help you prepare your request.

How is the Child's "Home State" Determined?

Child custody cases involving parents that live in two different states can present additional complications to the already difficult process of a child custody proceeding. The Court must determine if there is a “Home State,” and if so, which state should be deemed the “Home State.”

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJA) dictates how courts handle custody decisions when the parents live in two different states. The Act gives courts the authority to determine which state is considered the child's home state.

The decision is based on several factors, in order of priority:

  • The child must have lived with the parent in that state for at least six months.
  • The significant connections your child has with other people in the state will also determine if it is his or her home.
  • If the child lives in a certain state due to safety reasons, it can be considered his or her home state.

Once the “Home State” is determined, your custody hearings will take place in that state. Typically the Court that determines child custody will handle child support in conjunction with the child custody case. However, in some circumstances where enforcement is an issue, the Court in the state in which the payor resides is the best option because they have a greater ability to enforce the Order - specifically, that Court can suspend the driver’s license, garnish paychecks or bank accounts, and force the sale of real or personal property.

Under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), you have the right to obtain child support from your ex, no matter where he or she lives.

The court will declare jurisdiction over a non-custodial parent, even if he or she lives in another state if:

  • The parent lived in that state when the parents applied for the custody order.
  • The whole family lived together in the state where the custodial parent now lives.
  • If the court doesn't have jurisdiction over the parent, but he or she voluntarily agrees to a switch, the court will claim jurisdiction.

Determining the state that will hear the child support case is important because child support amounts vary state-by-state.

Why Hire Feldmann Nagel Cantafio & Song PLLC?

Going through divorce proceedings can be an extremely emotional experience. When children are involved, even though both parents may feel they have their children's best interests in mind, the court is often forced to make important decisions relating to the children. Our Colorado child custody lawyers are highly trained and have years of experience representing clients in all manner of divorce and child custody cases.

Dealing with a child custody issue? Contact Feldmann Nagel Cantafio & Song PLLC, PLLC for a free consultation. Se habla español.

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