The impact of divorce on children is well known. In some cases, the non-custodial parent loses contact with his or her children, which may put the children's emotional and physical well-being in jeopardy. Some Colorado parents are experiencing this dilemma and want to ensure that they maintain their relationships with their children after divorce.
Maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship after divorce depends greatly on the child custody process and outcome. Colorado courts consider child custody to be the responsibility of both parents, and use the terms parenting responsibility and parenting time in ruling on child custody matters.
Parenting time refers to the amount of time each parent will spend with the child. Parenting responsibility refers to how decisions about child rearing will be made. Both determinations are based on the best interests of the child and the court will consider many factors in making its decision. Parental and child requests are considered as well as interactions and relationships among parents, siblings and other people important to the child. The court will also consider how successfully the child is adjusting to school, home and community after the divorce.
Parenting time involves the interaction between parent and child so the court must also consider the physical and mental health of parents and other people involved. Consideration is given to the physical distance between the custodial and non-custodial parent and each parent's ability to encourage contact between the child and the other parent and share love and affection. Safety is also a priority because any history of abuse, child neglect or spousal abuse is considered by the court in parenting time determination.
Divorce can be emotionally difficult for parents and children. But divorce does not end the responsibilities and rights of parents with respect to their children. The end of a marriage should not be the end of the parent-child relationship.
Source: Courts.state.co.us, "Connecting with Your Kids: Important Information on Parenting Time in Colorado," accessed Dec. 30, 2014