In today’s world families come in all shapes and sizes. Child custody and support can be an issue in divorce and legal separation cases but also in cases where parents are not currently or were never married to one another. The break-up of a relationship is a traumatic event for parents, and even more so for children. Numerous studies have shown that conflicted child custody disputes can have effects on future relationships and opportunities for years into the future.
At the law firm of Opfer & Stowell, P.C., we are here to help you resolve child custody and visitation cases as amicably as possible. Whether deciding where children should live or searching for the right visitation schedule, each party should have an attorney who is sensitive to the concerns of both adults and children.
Best Interests of the Child
Parents can agree to any custody or visitation schedule they want. However, if the parents can’t agree, the Court will make the determination in the best interest of the child. In Colorado, there is a statute that covers Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (APR) which provides factors that the Court must take into consideration in determining the best interests of your child. Some of the factors which will be taken into consideration include:
- What are the wishes of the parents and, in some circumstances, the children with regards to parenting time?
- What environment is safe for the child physically, mentally and emotionally?
- What ties does the child have to their community including schools and medical professionals?
- What is the nature of the child’s relationship with their parents, siblings and other persons who have an impact on the child’s life?
- How is the mental and physical health of all individuals involved?
- Can the parents put the needs of the children ahead of their own and encourage a loving relationship between the child and the other parent?
- What is the proximity of both parents geographically and any other practical considerations for parenting time?
In any child custody and support issue, the primary goal should be to encourage the child to have a safe, happy, healthy, loving and supportive relationship with both parents. When parents can compromise and agree upon child related issues the separation process is made easier and parents are set up for co-parenting success in the future.
Parental responsibilities do not go away when parents no longer live together; both have a responsibility to ensure their child grows up happy, healthy and well-adjusted. At Opfer & Stowell P.C., the best interests of your children are paramount. Contact Opfer & Stowell P.C. at (303) 791-0995 or fill out the contact form below to discuss how we can protect your children and your rights as a parent in Douglas, Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson, Adams and El Paso Counties.