Colorado law aims to give both parents a substantial amount of time to spend with their kids after divorce, the exception being special circumstances where a parent can harm the child’s well-being. One parent gets to be the primary custodian in normal situations while the other gets parenting time. Here’s how the court determines parenting time.
Parenting time in Colorado
During a child custody case, the judge will make the final decision on when and where each parent will spend time with their kids. This time is measured in overnights. For instance, if the court assigns 50/50 parenting time in a year, the custodial parent will spend 183 overnights with the kids whereas the other parent will spend 182.
Factors used to determine parenting time
There are many factors that a Colorado court will consider. Some of the important ones include the following:
- Your past patterns of involvement in the child’s life. The court will look more favorably upon the parent who was more involved in the child’s life when determining parenting time. Therefore, to stand a better chance, prove that you have been actively involved in your child’s life by attending their school games, always showing up when requested for a matter concerning your child, being involved in their education, etc.
- Mental and physical health of the parent. Colorado courts put the child best interests above all else. Therefore, a mentally or physically unfit parent could be given a lesser time as they work out their issues, after which they can file to modify the parenting time.
- The parents and the child’s wishes. Of course, as a parent, the court will allow you to express your parenting time wishes. In addition, when the child is old enough, the judge will take their desires into account.
Parenting time is not set in stone. You can modify it when appropriate. However, remember that you can only file to modify after two years of previous modification, except when the court feels like your child is in danger.