In a child custody dispute, it is only natural to want to protect your relationship with your child. You want to ensure that you have as much time as possible with your child going forward. You may even want to have sole custody and not allow the other parent to spend any time with your child. However, this is very rarely allowed in Colorado.
Sole Custody Does Not Exist Under Colorado Law
Technically, the term “child custody” does not exist under Colorado law, nor does the term “sole custody.” What other states refer to as child custody is called parental responsibilities in Colorado.
Except in cases involving domestic abuse or other extenuating circumstances, the law is designed to keep both parents involved in the child’s upbringing. More often than not, courts will order shared decision-making responsibilities for parents, meaning that both parents must work together to make decisions related to education, healthcare and more. Similarly, courts are likely to order that both parents be allowed to spend time with the child.
Primary Parental Responsibilities Vs. Sole Custody
With all of the terminology, it is not uncommon for parents to misunderstand sole custody as referring to who the child lives with. In Colorado, it certainly is possible for the child to reside primarily with one parent. This means that the child will live with that parent most of the time. The other parent would then likely be granted a certain amount of parenting time, also referred to as “visitation” in other states. The amount of parenting time can vary dramatically based on the situation.
While fighting for sole custody or its Colorado law equivalent may not be possible except in rare cases, a parent may want to fight to be the primary residential parent. Ultimately, the approach to your case must involve a careful examination of a wide variety of factors to ensure that you are doing what is best for your child.