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Greeley Child Custody Lawyer

Our Greeley, CO, child custody lawyer knows from experience that many marriages ending in divorce can result in challenging child custody negotiations. Divorce negotiations can be complex and difficult, but when the divorce involves children, the negotiations become even more complex. Determining which parent your children will live with primarily could cause significant disagreements, let alone affect how a visitation schedule will be structured.

When you face such an important challenge, you need an experienced, knowledgeable attorney at your side. Count on our Greeley child custody lawyer to help you negotiate the best possible outcome for you and your children.

We will take your desires for your children’s future into account when we develop our strategy. The safety and needs of your children are a primary concern and we take these matters seriously. Trust that we will work toward a custody agreement that reflects those concerns. Our past clients know how hard we worked for them and their needs. You can rest assured that we will provide the same level of detail and attention to your case. Contact The Cossitt Law Firm as soon as possible at 970-488-1887 for a review of your case.

Why You Should Hire Our Child Custody Lawyer in Greeley, CO

Some law firms try to handle many different aspects of the law, choosing to tackle a wide range of cases, rather than focusing on a particular area. Unfortunately, they often end up being a jack of all trades, but a master of none of them. This will not be the case when you hire our family law lawyer to handle your child custody negotiations. At The Cossitt Law Firm, we focus only on family law. This gives our team a high level of experience in helping families achieve the outcomes they seek. Find out how we can help you, too.

Our primary practice areas include:

Our Focus on Family Law Offers You a Strategic Opportunity

Throughout our many years of representing clients in family law cases, we have worked with situations from simple to complex. We believe strongly in preparing for every possible eventuality in a case, which allows us to handle both clear-cut and challenging cases equally well. We do not back down when you face a difficult situation. We understand that you place a lot of trust in our firm to help you through this situation, and we do not take this responsibility lightly.

Trying to negotiate a child custody settlement between two spouses who frequently disagree can be a challenge. Sometimes, heated arguments about what should happen with their children can cause spouses to say things they don’t mean. Some people may even lie about what truly goes on at home to try to influence a judge. Our Greeley child custody lawyers are familiar with a wide range of tactics used by the opposing side in custody cases. You can trust in our experience to ensure our readiness to strategically counter any tactic to protect your interests.

Our child custody attorneys in Greeley are also skilled negotiators. Not every custody case leads to a battle. We prefer that they don’t, and we work hard to move the negotiation process forward in a respectful, productive way.

Our Child Custody Attorney in Greeley, CO, Takes Time to Get to Know You

We want to represent you well, so our child custody lawyer in Greeley will learn everything we need to know about your home life and your marriage during our conversations. Having this information helps our team defend you when your spouse’s representatives try to influence negotiations in ways that will not benefit your children, or you. Because we take so much time getting to know our clients, our child custody lawyer often becomes a trusted advisor. When we understand your situation fully, we can deliver the precise style of representation you need.

You can count on us to treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. We understand you are going through a very difficult time in your life. Our Greeley child custody lawyer will focus on the divorce and child custody proceedings, so you can focus on building your new life.

We want to reduce the stress you feel as you go through the child custody process. When you work with our experienced child custody attorney in Greeley, CO, you can rely on our detailed knowledge of Colorado’s laws, our extensive experience in custody negotiations, and our fierce litigation skills if your case goes to court. We are ready to fight for you at every step of the way to ensure your custody agreement best meets the needs of you and your children.

Get our help now. Call our Greeley child custody lawyer at The Cossitt Law Firm today at 970-488-1887 for a consultation.

Understanding Child Custody Laws in Colorado

In Colorado, state law avoids using terms like “joint custody” and “sole custody,” which are common in other states. Instead, the law uses “parenting responsibilities” and “primary residence” for your children as its terminology in this type of case.

Parenting Responsibilities

In Colorado, state Statute § 14-10-124 (1.5) covers the allocation of parental responsibilities. This statute discusses whether one or both parents will have the ability to make major decisions for the well-being of the children. The court prefers that both parents work together to make major decisions for their children. These may include:

  • Which school to attend
  • Extracurricular school activities
  • Non-school activities
  • Medical care
  • Religious teachings
  • Youth sports participation
  • Pet ownership.

However, the court may decide in some cases that one parent should have sole decision-making responsibilities. Perhaps one of the parents has issues with drug abuse or alcohol abuse, making that parent unreliable. If you believe your spouse should not have decision-making responsibilities, our child custody lawyer in Greeley, CO, can introduce your concerns to the court. Even if one parent receives responsibility for decision-making, the other parent may still be able to spend time with the children.

Primary Residence

In the state of Colorado, judges try to make sure both parents are involved in the lives of their children after a divorce. However, this does not mean your children will necessarily spend exactly the same amount of time with each parent. As part of the negotiations after a divorce with children, the court will assign one parent’s home as the primary residence for your children. Often, this will be the parent who spent the most time caring for your children during the marriage. The court prefers to see the lives of your children remain as normal as possible after your divorce.

Even with a primary residence established, the court prefers that your children spend as much time as possible with the other parent, too. This means that your children likely will spend quite a bit of time living in two homes. The amount of time your children will spend with each parent is part of a parenting plan. Our child custody attorney in Greeley, CO, will help you negotiate the details of a parenting plan with your ex-spouse. Through this form (JDF 1113), the state lays out the details of creating a parenting plan that meets the state’s statutes and preferences. You can find other state forms related to parenting-time schedules on the Colorado Judicial Branch website here.

Our Greeley Child Custody Lawyer Answers Commonly Asked Questions

We know that many aspects of determining the parenting plan are difficult to understand. Colorado’s laws may be a little different from those of other states. The following are some of the most common Colorado child custody hearing questions our team receives.

No. If your ex-spouse is behind on child support or alimony payments to you, you cannot respond by denying your ex-spouse time with your children. You still must follow the agreed-upon parenting plan. You can, however, hire our spousal support lawyer to represent your interests in trying to receive the payments you deserve. We can work through the courts to make your ex-spouse send the owed payments.

A child cannot make this selection alone. However, the courts often will take the wishes of older children into account when making decisions on custody and parenting plans. If the court believes your child’s wishes do not represent what would be in the best interests of your child, though, it will give less weight to your child’s wishes, even if he or she is an older child.

Colorado’s courts focus on a child’s best interest when making decisions about children’s well-being after a divorce. The court prefers to keep your child’s life as normal as possible, while maintaining a relationship with all family members. The consideration of best interest includes paying attention to things such as:

  • Relationship with parents
  • Relationship with siblings
  • Upheaval to child’s education or living arrangements
  • Mental health of the child
  • Physical health of the child
  • Maintaining quality of life
  • Maintaining standard of living
  • Maintaining favorite activities.

 

If your representatives and your spouse’s representatives can negotiate an agreement about how to handle child custody, you can avoid mediation. However, if negotiations do not lead to a settlement, a mediation meeting to resolve a child custody dispute is possible. This mediation process would occur before the case goes before a judge. (You may have to go through mediation for other aspects if you are also getting a divorce.) Our experienced child custody lawyer in Greeley, CO, can represent you during both negotiations and mediation.

Adjustments to child custody agreements in the future may happen. If either parent has a significant change in their life, this could lead to the court’s altering the agreement. Our child custody attorney in Greeley, CO, can help you file the paperwork required to request a change. Sometimes, the court will refuse to change the current agreement, though, even if the other parent moves out of state. The court may believe that the change will not be in the best interests of your children.

No. The court takes every possible step to avoid having children attend custody hearings, let alone testify. However, a judge may choose to meet privately with your child outside of the official hearing. This meeting can determine whether your child has a preference about living arrangements and parenting plans.

When going through a divorce in Colorado involving children, you may hear the term APR (short for allocation of parental responsibilities). Through the APR, the court will approve the parenting plan, custody, child support, and decision-making agreements. The Colorado Judicial Branch oversees the rules for the APR. Our Greeley child custody lawyer can help you create an APR that complies with all state laws.

When Your Child’s Safety Is a Concern

Our Greeley Child Custody Lawyer Will Focus on Protecting Your Children

One of the most challenging situations in a child custody case occurs when accusations of child endangerment enter the picture. Even though these accusations can be difficult to discuss or make public, it is essential for the court to have this information. If your child’s safety is in question with one parent, the court may override its normal parenting plan guidelines. It may determine that parenting time will not be equal.

The court makes protection of your children its primary focus. We do, too. Our child custody lawyer in Greeley will help you understand the process of this decision-making by the court. We will advocate zealously on behalf of your children in any court proceeding.

Our Attorney Will Help You Introduce Allegations of Child Abuse

You may believe that your children will be in danger when they stay with your ex-spouse. If so, count on The Cossitt Law Firm’s team to bring this information into the negotiations and into a hearing. We understand it can be frightening when it seems the court does not recognize your concerns about your ex-spouse’s dangerous behavior. We will be persistent in a child custody hearing to ensure the court knows all relevant details to make a decision that will protect your children’s safety. Some facts that could show child endangerment on the part of your spouse include:

  • Drug abuse
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Gambling addiction
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Verbal abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Mental health concerns
  • Unpredictable and dangerous actions.
If you believe your children are in immediate danger from your ex-spouse, our child custody lawyer in Greeley can point you toward the right local and state agencies for help. You should contact law enforcement as well.

Helping You Counteract Allegations of Child Abuse

On the other hand, your ex-spouse may make allegations of child abuse against you that simply are not true. During a heated child custody hearing, some parents will lie about the behavior of the other parent, seeking a sympathetic judgment. Not only is this unfair to you and your reputation, but it is unfair to your children. They should not lose a chance to have a relationship with you because of untrue allegations on the part of your spouse.

Because we spend so much time getting to know our clients and their families, we are well positioned to protect you if this should happen. We can use facts about your time as a parent to show why you would never place your children in danger. False accusations like these are extremely serious. You must be ready to fight them as vehemently as you can. Rely on the experience of our child custody lawyer to defend your actions as a parent and ensure you get fair treatment in custody proceedings.

Understanding Infant Custody

When an infant is part of a child custody hearing after a divorce, the situation is quite a bit different than a hearing with older children. Courts in Colorado generally consider a child under two years of age as an infant for these types of cases.

The court may determine that the infant will have a better chance at normal emotional and physical development when he or she can primarily bond with one caregiver. This means that the court may approve a parenting plan giving one parent quite a bit more time with the infant than the other parent. For example, the infant may be able to spend the night with only one parent until after he or she is more than two years of age.

Changing the Parenting Plan As the Infant Ages

This unequal arrangement of time spent with parents can be a difficult situation for the non-primary parent to accept. Our team can help you argue that a more equal splitting of responsibilities would be beneficial for the infant child in your case. Understand, though, that this is a tough judgment to win.

Fortunately, the courts believe strongly in allowing both parents to have more equal time with the infant child after he or she turns two. Count on our Greeley child custody lawyer to file for a change in the parenting plan as quickly as possible after your child’s second birthday, to give you more time with your child during these important preschool years.

Trust Our Greeley Child Custody Lawyer to Work Tirelessly for You

Some people may wonder if they really need to hire a lawyer when a divorce involves children. If you and your ex-spouse agree on all aspects of caring for your children, you may feel like legal representation is unnecessary. Certainly, there is no Colorado state law that requires anyone going through a divorce to hire an attorney.

However, our Greeley, CO, child custody attorney can provide significant benefits for your situation. Even if the parents agree on everything now, one parent may end up feeling differently about the agreement several months down the road. Having legal documents in place regarding custody will ensure that all parties follow the original agreement. If only a verbal agreement exists, your ex-spouse could choose to change the arrangement and leave you with no legal recourse.

Our Team Takes Pride in Representing Your Interests

If your spouse has representation, choosing not to hire an attorney can leave you facing an uphill battle in your child custody hearing. Our Greeley child custody lawyer will even the playing field. We will ensure that the court takes your concerns seriously. Without representation, you may find that your spouse’s lawyers are able to convince the court to give your spouse advantages that may strip you and your children of options in a custody agreement. Simply hoping for the best in a child custody hearing rarely works. You should be proactive by hiring our Greeley, CO, child custody lawyer to represent your interests and to work on your behalf.

At The Cossitt Law Firm, we fight hard to make sure our client’s interests receive the attention they deserve. We take pride in ensuring that you receive fair treatment from the court. We will not let the other side’s lawyers intimidate us or treat you with disrespect. Our professional attitude and demeanor at negotiations and hearings helps to defuse what could be an emotional confrontation. This allows everyone to focus on the facts.

For a review of your child custody case, contact our team in Greeley at 970-488-1887 today.


Top Child Custody Related Pages at Cossitt Law Firm

Parenting time schedule

Emergency Child Custody & Endangerment


Colorado offers a method for immediate relief when a child is at imminent risk of physical or emotional harm by a parent. The court can act immediately to suspend all unsupervised with the parent allegedly putting the child at risk and place them under emergency child custody with a legal guardian.

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Divorce couple reviewing parenting plan

Parenting Plan



As all families are unique, one form of parenting plan will not meet the needs of every family. The best parenting plan will be well developed and custom tailored to the individuals involved. Some parenting plans incorporate terms that will apply far into the future, as when a child emancipates into adulthood.
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Girl hugging mom after being dropped off at dad's house

Modification of Child Custody


As life changes, child custody orders may no longer fit your needs or circumstances. When this occurs, seeking a child custody modification can be necessary to officially change court orders related to parenting time and/or decision-making responsibilities.

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Parenting Time Articles

Son & Father playing together during a visitation.

Guide to Parenting Time


Formerly known as child visitation, Parenting Time outlines the schedule and conditions under which each parent may see their children

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Holiday Parenting Time

Holiday Parenting Time


What holidays do you celebrate and how do you enjoy them? We can assist with crafting a holiday parenting time schedule to meet the needs of everyone involved.
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Parenting time schedule

Parenting Time Schedules


Every child custody case will have a parenting plan that details the schedule so each parent may enjoy parenting time with their child. The schedule is commonly broken into three categories.
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Parenting via an iPad

Long Distance Parentings


When parents relocate away from one another, the schedule should be molded to the accommodate logistics, travel costs, and the quality time between parents and children.
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Fort Collins Divorce & Child Support Attorneys

Tom Cossitt

Tom Cossitt, Esq.

Family Law
Suzanne Ewy

Suzanne Ewy, Esq.

Family Law
Carla Jaquess

Carla Jaquess, Esq.

Family Law
Attorney Lisa Vigil

Lisa Vigil, Esq.

Family Law
Jenna Hardesty

Jenna Hardesty, Paralegal

Family Law

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