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.
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 for a review of your case.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The parent who has the primary custody or primary residence often receives child support payments from the other parent. However, this is not always the case. The court takes each parent’s income level into consideration when trying to determine child support. If the parent who owns your children’s primary residence also has the most income, it is possible the other parent could receive child support payments. These payments would help when your children stay at the other parent’s home. Our child support lawyer in Greeley is ready to guide you through these sometimes-confusing situations.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Formerly known as child visitation, Parenting Time outlines the schedule and conditions under which each parent may see their children
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"I met with as many as 10 different attorneys before coming across Thomas. After our initial consultation, I was very pleased with his knowledge and realistic expectations. During the really tough time, Thomas kept me calm and helped tremendously to get custody of my daughter. He kept me informed on what was going on and would ask for my input; if it was something that was unrealistic or could be done a different way, Thomas would tell me right away. During the hearings, he was amazing. He kept a professional attitude and was great at cross examinations. He took in all of the facts and evidence, and was able to present them efficiently and effectively. Ultimately helping me gain custody of my child."
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