Are you going through a divorce? Are you having trouble with your current arrangements and considering a child support modification? Our Colorado Springs child custody attorneys help you get through the often difficult legal process of child custody.
Family law matters can certainly get quite emotional. That’s why it’s important to seek legal representation with any child custody case. Our family law attorneys not only guide you every step of the way and represent your best interests, but are also there for emotional support.
Even if it seems like everything is calm and agreeable, don’t go it alone. We make sure you don’t miss any important steps that you could regret later. Call Springs Law Group for a free 30-minute consultation.
What Is Child Custody?
The conflict over child custody is the most common disagreement seen in family court. Child custody is often part of divorce proceedings. It refers to the legal and physical responsibility of a child. To gain custody means a parent is responsible for a minor child. This is the responsibility to educate, provide for, supervise, and look after the well-being of the child. However, both parents, regardless of being awarded custody, are responsible for helping meet their child’s needs. Custody is simply the legal boundaries that help ensure this happens.
The following are a few situations where child custody might be brought into question:
- During divorce. This is the most common time that child custody is addressed. This issue is considered when a married couple divorces.
- When parents are unmarried. Child custody can also be addressed when parents separate who were never married. The decision of child custody is brought to court when the former couple cannot agree on how the child should be cared for.
- To remove a child from danger. In some situations, it is determined that the parents are unfit to take care of their child. This can mean they are abusive or simply mean they are not fit as parents. Family members, foster parents, or even group homes can be awarded child custody in a situation like this.
Why Is Child Custody Important?
The child custody arrangement is likely the most important legal decision in a divorce. After all, how custody is awarded will determine the type of life the child will have from that point forward. This could have a great influence on the rest of the child’s life. Consequently, making the right decision about child custody is crucially important.
What Are the Types of Child Custody?
There are different types of child custody that can be applied to a case. This is a good thing, because not every situation is the same. The following are the primary types of child custody that are awarded:
- Primary physical custody. This is the most common type of child custody. It occurs when a parent is given primary custody of a child by a ruling body or the court. This means the child will live with this parent the majority of the time. Primary physical custody can be awarded to one parent only. This means the child lives the majority of time with one parent while the other has more limited custody.
- Legal custody. Legal custody, or more commonly known as decision-making responsibilities, means a parent is given the ability to make decisions for the child. These decisions could involve choices about the child’s upbringing, health, religion, and education. Joint legal custody means parents both have the right to make these decisions for their child.
- Sole custody. In cases where one parent is not fit to take responsibility for a child, sole custody can be awarded to the other parent. Alcoholism, drug use, or serious financial problems can all be reasons a parent is unfit. A parent may also be determined to be unfit if he or she is living with another individual who might be a danger to the child. However, it should be kept in mind that sole custody is extremely difficult to achieve in Colorado.
- Joint custody. The term joint custody can refer to joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both. It is for parents who are sharing custody of their child. However, some parents who have joint legal custody won’t share joint physical custody.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Child Custody?
Even when a couple is amicable at the time of their divorce, child custody disagreements can occur. The Springs Law Group legal team understands how to keep the child’s best interest at heart in any arrangement. Therefore, it is wise to get an attorney when seeking child custody.
Don’t Moms Always Get Awarded Custody of a Child?
No. Although women are often awarded custody of the child, that is not always the case. Generally, custody is awarded to both parents, unless one parent is determined unfit and incapable of taking care of the child. The Court does a good job of being equitable when it comes to custody.
Custody of a Child When Not Married
Child custody is often an issue that occurs even when parents were never married. In these cases, once a breakup has taken place, child custody is addressed.
At What Age Can a Child Choose Custody in Colorado?
There is no set age when a child can choose their custodial parent in Colorado. However, courts do consider the child’s preferences when the child is mature enough to communicate them. Each case is different, so there is no legal age set. Generally, children are not allowed to testify in court about custody issues.
When to Modify Child Custody
When life circumstances change, child custody can be readdressed. This can include situations where a parent was seen as unfit, but has since put their life together. It can also be situations where one parent feels the child is now in danger at the other parent’s home.
If you are in need of a compassionate attorney to help with your child custody case please contact us online or call us directly at 719.421.7141.