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A brief overview of child custody in Colorado

For most parents in Colorado, nothing is more important to them than their child's well-being. Therefore, if parents divorce, they may want to make sure any child custody decisions are made in a way that allows the child to grow and thrive. The state recognizes this, and therefore, when making child custody decisions, courts are to make decisions that are in the child's best interests.

When a court in Colorado makes child custody decisions, it will utilize the standard of the "best interests of the child." Certain factors will be considered, including what the child's parents want, what the child wants and the child's ability to adjust to a new home or school, among others. One thing that won't be considered, however, is the parent's gender. Also, keep in mind that each family's situation is unique, so there is no "one-size fits all" when it comes to child custody.

In Colorado, when determining how the parents will handle making major decisions regarding the child's welfare -- that is, legal custody -- it is often the case that both of the child's parents will be granted this responsibility. However, when determining where the child will live and how visitation will be handled -- that is, physical custody -- an even split between parents is not always possible.

For example, the parents might live too far apart from one another to make it feasible for the child to spend exactly 50 percent of his or her time with each parent. Therefore, it is often the case that one parent will have sole physical custody and the other parent will enjoy visitation rights.

Child custody decisions are among the most important decisions that will be made if parents divorce. After all, these decisions could affect both the child and the parents for many years. Therefore, it is important that any decisions made are in the child's best interests.

Source: FindLaw, "Colorado Child Custody Laws," accessed Jan. 8, 2018

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