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Child Custody and Co-Parenting in Colorado

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP January 7, 2020

Typically parents try to work on issues and stay together for the sake of the kids, but sometimes divorce becomes the best option. While navigating life as a single parent is no easy feat, it can outweigh the adverse effects associated with two parents living in constant conflict.

Research shows that children who are raised by cooperative co-parents have fewer behavioral problems. It can take a lot of effort and dedication for parents to co-parent successfully after a divorce, but the rewards for the children are tremendous.

Colorado child custody laws

Colorado family courts no longer use the term custody. Instead, “parental responsibilities” is used for what used to be called “physical custody” and “legal custody.” Colorado family law judges make a determination of the best interests of the child based on the evidence presented. In cases without serious concerns about a parents ability to care for the child, courts typically order joint parental responsibility, meaning the parents both enjoy significant time with the children. This also means transitions and necessary communication with the co-parent regarding the children.

Successful co-parenting

If you are looking to develop healthy co-parenting skills, consider the following:

  • Communication. Communication is vital to successful co-parenting. It can be a good idea to establish structure for how and when to communicate with one another. Keep all communication brief, polite, and to the point. Keep your co- parent informed about school events, medical issues or appointments, extra-curricular activities, practices and so on.
  • Parenting time. A joint parenting schedule should specify living arrangements, including details about how the children will travel between the two homes along with drop-off and pick-up times and locations. Keep your child’s other parent informed about school events, medical issues or appointments, extra-curricular activities, practices and so on.
  • Common house rules. While each parent should establish their own house rules, there may be times when it helps to have common rules. Parents need to have clear rules that they communicate to children to provide consistency between households. Similar rules regarding bedtime, curfews, electronics and homework can make the transition between homes easier.

No child wants to feel tension between fighting co-parents. Establishing a friendly and business like relationship can make the situation easier for the kids. Child custody disputes are never easy. An experienced Boulder criminal defense attorney can make it easier by helping you form a child-centered parenting plan that will benefit all members of your family.