Child custody and parenting time

Colorado Child Custody Laws

“Child custody” issues can arise in any case where a child’s parents are unable to agree on parenting issues, not just in divorce cases. More and more often, unmarried people have children and then find themselves in Court arguing over visitation (called “parenting time” in Colorado) and decision-making. If a child’s parents are married, then child custody issues are resolved as a part of the divorce process.

Allocation of parental responsibilities

In the state of Colorado, if a child’s parents are not married, then we file an “allocation of parental responsibilities” case, and we handle child custody issues that way. Regardless of whether child custody is part of a divorce or an allocation of parental responsibilities case, the Court will be looking at two sub-categories of issues: parenting time and decision-making.

The following is a clip of California state, Judge Eugene M. Hyman, speaking on the topic of child custody:

 

(The information you obtain from this clip is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Some of the information in the clip may be specific to California Law)


Transcription

Sara Ross: In Colorado we don’t use the word custody anymore. We actually use the word allocation of parental responsibilities. That breaks up into two categories; we have parenting time and decision making. Parenting time is the amount of time you have with your children, and decision making is the level of authority that you have to make choices in certain areas of your kids’ lives. So there are several major areas in decision making. It’s educational, medical and religious. People tend to have a lot of other things that come up obviously in co-parenting. Everything from how long a kid’s hair is going to be to whether they are going to play soccer or football, and those things are what we typically call day-to-day decision making. The parent that has the child at the time makes that decision without talking to the other parent. People can make whatever arrangements they want. When we do a parenting plan, we address all the issues that are important to both parents, and we can make arrangements for that.