Boulder Child Custody and Child Support Lawyer
For couples who have children, the most challenging aspect of divorce or a breakup is maintaining a stable environment for your children as your family moves from one household into two. The good news is that it is perfectly possible to raise happy and healthy children during and after divorce — but it will take some work to create a sustainable parenting plan that meets your needs and those of your children with the help of a Boulder child custody and child support attorney. Schedule a free consultation at Dolan + Zimmerman, LLP today.
Why Choose Our Firm
At Dolan + Zimmerman, LLP, our lawyers will help you assert your perspective and your needs as both parties work to establish a parenting plan. We represent clients seeking a wide range of custody and support arrangements — whether you are seeking primary custody and assistance, or are trying to ensure that you do not have to bear an unfairly high share of financial responsibility for your child’s well-being, we will help you navigate the legal system and reach an arrangement that works for you.
How a Boulder Child Custody and Child Support Lawyer Can Help
When it comes to the well-being of your children, there’s no room for error. An experienced Boulder family law lawyer can be a vital asset throughout the entire child custody and support process. Not only will legal representation significantly increase your chances of a fair outcome, it also provides you with the comfort of knowing a team of professionals are looking out for your best interests. With so many uncertainties in a child support and custody case, an attorney can give you a realistic assessment of how a court will view and potentially rule on these relevant issues. From there, you can work with your lawyer to develop an effective strategy that protects you and your children.
Finding Solutions That Work For You and Your Children
Colorado’s laws recognize the principle that children should maintain a relationship with both parents whenever possible, except in extreme cases such as domestic abuse, addiction or criminal behavior. This is why the state changed from its all-or-nothing child custody approach to the allocation of parental responsibility after a divorce. Under this new structure, judges have the authority to divide up physical custody and legal custody in a way that keeps both parents involved in their children’s lives without creating artificial “joint” decisions.
- Physical custody is the distribution of time spent with each parent, or basically where the child will live. The court will consider:
- The parents’ wishes.
- The child’s wishes if they are mature enough to give a reason for their preference.
- The relationship of the child with their parents, siblings, and any other person who may impact the situation.
- The health, both mental and physical, of everyone involved.
- The history of caretaking.
- Legal custody is the distribution of power to make important life decisions for the child. For instance, where they attend school, what religious instruction they receive, when they go to the doctor, etc. When determining legal custody, the court considers:
- The parents’ ability to cooperate and make joint decisions.
- Whether the parents’ past behavior, personal values, time commitments, and level of mutual support show the ability to create a positive and healthy relationship with the child.
- The impact allocation of mutual decision-making responsibilities would have on the amount of contact between each parent and the child.
The court will keep the child’s best interests in mind before making any decisions regarding custody. But every family’s specific child custody arrangement is unique. If you choose to work together with the other parent, you can create a plan that fits both of your schedules.
How is Child Support Determined in Colorado?
Child support is determined by a number of factors, including the relative share of parental duties taken on by each parent as well as their respective incomes and assets. As part of the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities, we work to determine what amount of child support is appropriate given the other factors in your case.
When calculating support, Colorado follows the “income shares” method, which states that children are entitled to a portion of each parent’s income. The primary factors used in child support calculation include:
- Gross incomes of both parents.
- Expenses such as childcare and health insurance.
- How much time each parent spends with their children.
This information can be added to the state’s “guideline worksheets,” which are used by the court to calculate the amount of support owed. In most cases, the parent who has sole physical custody or is the custodial parent is paid child support. In some situations, such as a large income disparity, the custodial parent can end up paying child support to the other parent. If the parents split visitation 50/50, child support will still be paid unless incomes are close to the same. Regardless of who pays child support, child-related expenses are typically split in proportion to each parent’s income.
Child Custody and Child Support Modifications
Over time, it may be necessary to make modifications to an existing custody or support plan as your family’s life circumstances change. A parent may seek to relocate, incomes may rise or fall and a child’s own preferences will become increasingly important as they get older. We will help you make these modifications while maintaining a sense of fairness and focus on your children’s needs.
Speak With a Boulder Child Custody and Child Support Lawyer
To learn more about how we can help you with child custody, child support and a wide range of family law matters, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. Call our firm today to schedule an appointment.
We know that every case is different. So we adapt our approach to the most efficient and effective way of resolving the issue