Guide to Parenting Time & Decision-Making | Cossitt Law Firm
Formerly known as child visitation, Parenting Time outlines the schedule and conditions under which each parent may see their children. When determining parenting time the Court must consider the following best interest factors:
- The wishes of the child’s parents as to parenting time;
- The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule;
- The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
- The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time, also known as child visitation;
- The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party – except that, if the court determines that a party is acting to protect the child from witnessing domestic violence or from being a victim of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, the party’s protective actions shall not be considered with respect to this factor;
- Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;
- The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time; and
- The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.
Decision Making defines how major decisions for the children are to be made including those relating to the child’s health and education. When determining decision making the Court shall consider the best interest factors and the following four factors:
- Credible evidence of the ability of the parties to cooperate and to make decisions jointly
- Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support that would indicate an ability as mutual decision makers to provide a positive and nourishing relationship with the child; and
- Whether an allocation of mutual decision-making responsibility on any one or a number of issues will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each of the parties.
Parenting Time and Decision Making will be defined in a Parenting Plan and may include:
Our Fort Collins family law attorneys can establish, modify, and address all matters relating to the allocation of child visitation, shared custody, and parental responsibilities in Colorado. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn about your parental rights.