Colorado Springs Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
Divorce is difficult, and can be more complex when children are involved. Parents are concerned about the well-being of the children and may be unsure of how their contact with the children may change in the future. In Colorado, child custody is called “allocation of parental responsibilities” (APR). A parent can file an APR case, whether married or not.
APR involves what time each parent will spend with the children and whether they will make important decisions jointly or individually about the children. Examples of important decisions are those involving health, education, religion, and sometimes extracurricular activities. Ideally, the parents will agree with each other about what is best for the children and what works for the new family units. However, if they do not, then the court can decide. Usually, the child must have lived in Colorado for six months before filing for Colorado to have jurisdiction over the case.Court Decisions
When a Colorado court decides how to allocate parental it must enter orders that are in the best interests of the child. Of course there can be reasonable differences of opinion on what is in the best interests and courts have a substantial amount of discretion as well. The Court can not consider parental behavior that does not impact the child. Many parents are upset at the behavior of the other parent and would like the Judge to hear about it. However if that behavior does not substantially impact the children, it is not relevant to the proceeding. Time is very limited in domestic relations proceedings and must be used wisely.
For example one parent may not like that the other parent watches video games while with the children. However that behavior may not have a significant, negative impact on the children, thus would not be relevant to an APR decision. It is not unusual for parents to disagree about what is in the children's best interests, and to make different parenting choices. COVID resulted in many disputes between parents about travel and contact with others. Some parents were more conservative than the other parent about means of exposure. Ultimately as long as a parent is in compliance with CDC guidance and state executive orders, there are a number of different right choices. Public policy favors having both parents in the child's life as well as both parents supporting the involvement of the other absent safety issues.Parenting Time Factors
If a court decides the APR, it will consider generally:
- What the parents would like to happen
- What the children would like to happen if they are sufficiently mature to express a reasoned opinion
- Relationships between the children and parents
- The child’s adjustment to the home, school and community
- Mental and physical health
- The parent's ability to encourage the involvement of the other
- The parents' involvement with the children
- How close the parents live to each other
- A parent's ability to prioritize the child's needs
An attorney can guide you through Colorado Springs allocation of parental responsibilities by handling pleading and motion preparation and filing, negotiation, mediation, and court proceedings from start to finish. This allows you to focus on moving forward to a better future rather than on trying to figure out how the overly complex court system works.Turning Change Into Opportunity in Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Divorce and family law matters are difficult to navigate alone. The court system is more complex than it should be. Remember that change often creates new opportunity and a better future. Janko Family Law can help ensure that your best interests are protected. Contact us at 719-344-5523 or complete our online form to set up a free thirty-minute informational consultation.