Fort Collins Child Custody Lawyers | Larimer County
Child Custody Lawyer Fort Collins, Colorado
If you are battling over custody of your child, there are many factors to consider. Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, as it’s formally named, determines which parent(s) will have decision makings, such as where the child will attend school, the allocated time the parent(s) get to spend with their child through a parenting time schedule, and child support. The Fort Collins child custody lawyers at the Cossitt Law Firm will walk you through each step and ensure that the best interests of you and your children are represented.
Things you should know:
- When the Courts evaluate child custody decisions, the priority and legal standard is the best interests of the child
- Both parents are obligated to support their children
- The courts in Colorado often mandate a parenting class be completed by both parents if minor children are involved
- Parenting plans are modifiable if the modification is directed by the best interest of the child
If Custody is Shared, Do I have to Pay Child Support?
Child support is not required to be paid in every child custody case. Colorado child support law requires the incomes of the parents and the scheduled number of overnights go into calculating child support, and this calculation is what is known as the guideline amount of child support. When the parents agree and good cause exists, the Court may deviate from the guideline amount. When child support is ordered to be paid, it is to be paid until the child turns 19 years old or otherwise emancipates. For dependent and disabled children who will not emancipate, child support can be ordered to be paid after the age of 19 years old.
Can My Child Decide Which Parent they want to live with?
Colorado child custody law allows the judge to consider the wishes of the child as it relates to parenting time, and the court should consider the child’s emotional maturity. There is no age that a child can make this decision, prior to turning 18 years of age or otherwise emancipating.
Utilizing child and family investigators is one way to ensure your child’s wishes are known to the judge. Child therapists and counselors are another source of ensuring the judge knows your child’s wishes as to parenting time. Under limited circumstances, your child may be able to talk directly to the judge in private, but on the Court’s official record.
Do I need a Parenting Plan?
A Parenting Plan is the legal document that details how custody is to be shared. A Parenting Plan can include regular parenting time, holiday and vacation parenting time, as well as other matters like telephone contact and how major decisions are to be made.
If you share child custody in Colorado it could be wise to have a parenting plan in place, even if you and the other parent are currently amicable. While many parents often agree to deviate from the parenting plan schedule, when disagreement arises and parents are not as amicable then the provisions of the parenting plan may be enforced until they are replaced with modified parenting time orders.
I have more questions regarding establishing or modifying child custody, what can I do?
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with the Cossitt Law Firm’s child custody lawyers to learn about your parental rights.