What are the different types of child custody arrangements?

Newly divorced parents in Colorado have to get child custody arrangements made. There are different types of plans that can be decided by the court.

What is parental responsibility?

In Colorado, child custody is known as “parental responsibility.” This refers to the custody matters such as parenting time, child support and decision-making.

The decision-making aspect of child custody refers to legal custody. This type of custody allows parents to make major decisions regarding the child’s life. Parents who are granted this type of custody can make decisions about their child’s health and medical care, education, religion, extracurricular activities and more.

Parenting time relates to physical custody. The parent with physical custody of the child lives with them and is responsible for the care of the child on a daily basis. Parenting time also includes matters of visitation and providing the child with their everyday needs such as food, clothing and comfort.

Primary custody is a type of child custody that sees one parent making all the major decisions concerning the child. This type of custody is rare in Colorado, but the court might award it if there’s evidence that one parent has a history of domestic violence, abuse or neglect.

Joint custody means that both parents jointly share custody of the child and are equally responsible for making decisions on behalf of the child. However, just because both parents have joint custody, that doesn’t mean both will have physical custody as well. The child might live with only one parent full-time while both parents share joint legal custody.

What is ‘the best interests of the child standard’?

Colorado bases custody decisions on the best interests of the child standard. The main focus is to keep both parents in the child’s life. However, if one parent is a danger to the child, the court will strongly consider that fact when issuing a child custody order.

The right custody arrangement can make all the difference in the child’s life.