Do child custody rulings for infants differ from those for older children? – Divorces are never easy and that is especially true when the divorcing couple has children. Regardless of the reason for separation, all parties involved want the children to be taken care of physically, mentally, and spiritually.
As such, many people getting divorced have many questions regarding custody arrangements, parenting plans, financial support for the children, and whether custody rulings for infants differ from those of older children in Colorado.
While sitting down with a child custody attorney in Fort Collins is highly recommended if you are entering into a divorce and concerned about the welfare of your children, let us look at the way the courts in the Centennial State deal with child custody issues involving infants.
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities
In the State of Colorado, the legal process to determine child custody in the event of a divorce is known as the allocation of parental responsibilities (APR), which will be used as the determinant to decide which parent, or both, will exercise decision making responsibility regarding a host of issues to include medical treatment, school attendance, and the like.
Additionally, the APR will detail the amount of time each parent has with the children, in a section of the APR known as parenting time schedule, as well as setting up a payment system for child support. Oftentimes, when the parents have very young children, the Colorado court might mandate parenting classes for the two parents.
A detailed document, the APR is designed to support a smooth transition during a divorce with the needs and welfare of the children as the guiding principle.
As an example, if one of the parents can only see the children under supervised visitation, the APR will go to great lengths to detail the conditions of those visitations. A child custody attorney in Fort Collins will sit down and craft an APR that fits the unique needs of your family.
Child Custody Factors, the Courts, and Infants
Whenever dealing with custody matters, Colorado courts always strive to do first and foremost what is best for the child. Since all family situations are unique, oftentimes the court solution is likewise unique. Parents come to court in two categories: those that agree on how they wish to divide custody, and those that are at odds on some aspect of the child caring plan.
While the judge will make the final determination in the case, their decision regarding custody considers the following factors:
- Preference of the child.
- Presence of siblings.
- Mental health of participants
- Observed interactions between children and parents.
- Proximity of either parent to child’s home
As mentioned, while these factors play a role in assigning custody right to parents, the judge holds final sway on the decision, and this is shown in the way the court awards custody to infants. As a rule, the court will generally assign full time custody to a single parent.
Different from the raising of older children, the role of primary caregiver is given to a single parent with the idea that the arrangement will better help the infant’s overall development.
In this arrangement, the non-primary caregiving parent still has ready access to the child, and the infant grows older a more equitable distribution of time and responsibilities will likely occur.
While no family situation is the same, the overall development of the child is the same, and the court will always work to ensure the best possible outcome for the child.
Navigating the Warren of Divorce Law in Colorado
Regardless of where you choose to live, get married, have children, and get divorced, you will have many questions about the proceedings centering around your divorce and what will happen to your children.
Even in the most amicable of situations however, there is room for strife, and having a competent child custody attorney in Fort Collins by your side can help demystify the entire process.
In addition to helping ensure your custody rights, this lawyer can help you draft an APR that gives you legal recourse in the event that you are later being treated unfairly.
Call the Child Custody Attorney in Fort Colins That You Can Trust
If you find yourself in a situation where you need competent legal representation in a divorce settlement, and you have concerns and questions regarding the custody of your children, you need to call our firm here at The Cossitt Law Firm.
We understand the difficulty of unraveling a family unit into separate lives, and our expertise and professional representation can serve as a grounding influence in an entire process that is known for the emotional baggage it carries. We have extensive knowledge of family law in Colorado, and we use this knowledge to make sure our clients receive the best possible representation after a divorce.
Contact our Fort Collins office today for a free consultation and get the answers you need regarding your children in any upcoming Colorado divorce proceedings. The future is too important to leave to chance when it comes to the raising of your children. Let our experienced divorce lawyers help you navigate this new arena.