Decision Making In Colorado Divorce

Parenting Time And Decision Making Under Boulder Law

“Decision-making responsibility” is one of the two main issues that arise in Colorado divorce cases regarding children and in Colorado allocation of parental responsibilities cases. The other main issue is “parenting time.” “Decision-making responsibility” concerns each parent’s ability or authority to make decisions regarding the children. This is decided, as with any issue regarding kids, with the child’s best interest in mind.

2 major types of decision-making

Decision-making is broken up into two main types: “major” decisions upon which parents must usually agree, and “day-to-day” or “minor” decisions which each parent can make on his or her own. Colorado Courts generally prefer “joint decision-making” arrangements, where parents must agree on all major decisions. Sometimes, though, a Court will choose a “sole decision-making” arrangement where one parent has complete authority over all decisions in one or more of the three “major” decision-making categories. Sole decision-making is more common in cases where the parents have a history of domestic violence, and – in those cases – Courts tend to award sole decision-making authority to the victim of domestic violence.

3 main areas of major decisions

Usually, “major” decisions fall into three main areas: religion, education, and medical. Parents can choose, though, to include other categories in the group of “major” decisions. For example, some parents may want choices about driving, dating, body piercing/tattoos, activities, or discipline to be considered “major” such that both parents must agree before a decision is put into action. “Minor” or “day-to-day-decisions” typically consist of things like clothing, food, and use of free time. Colorado law does not clearly distinguish between “major” and “minor” decisions, and the distinction can be a source of substantial conflict between parents.

How an attorney can help

An experienced Boulder child custody attorney can help families come to an agreement, and devise a decision-making plan that sees to the child’s best interests. Call Sara Ross for a private consultation.