Often, when referring to child custody in Jefferson County Courts, you will hear the phrase ‘allocation of parental responsibilities’ or APR. Previously, child custody was the legal responsibility to care for a child and is composed of two parts – legal and physical custody. Physical custody related to who the child primarily resides with. Legal custody referred to each parent’s authority to make decisions relating to the children. The replacement for child custody, APR or allocation of parental responsibilities, is made up of two similar pieces: parenting time and parental decision making.
How is Parenting Time Determined in an Arvada Divorce?
Parenting time is simply that – the amount of time each parent gets with the child or children. The Jefferson County judge will rule on parenting time based on what is in the best interest of the kids. There is no automatic assumption of equal time to each parent. The judge will instead, consider the needs of each child and what will be best for them. This may mean different parenting time with each child. The court also, must not favor one parent over another when it comes to making this decision. For example, the court cannot give the mother more parenting time just because she is the mother. The decision must not be based on gender, but instead what is best for the children.
How is Parental Decision Making Determined in Jefferson County?
Much like with parenting time, Colorado law favors co-parenting and ideally wants parents to be able to make major decisions together. This is, however, not always possible. A judge can grant specific decision-making responsibilities to each parent. For example, the mother may be responsible for making the health decisions, while the father gets to make the educational decisions. Minor decisions usually fall to the parent who is with the child when the decision needs to be made. It’s important the you have an experienced family law attorney to represent you in your Wheat Ridge divorce and parental responsibilities case. Hire someone who can effectively present an argument to the judge about why co-parenting will or will not work and what is truly in the best interest of your children.
If you are getting a divorce and worried about child custody or parental responsibility, call the Pearman Law Firm for a free initial phone consultation at 720-259-9528 or 888-835-6339.
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