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The Right of First Refusal in Colorado Child Custody

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Previously, divorced parents had the freedom to arrange childcare as they saw fit during their periods of physical custody. However, Colorado family laws have undergone significant changes over the years. One notable change is the inclusion of the right of first refusal for parents in custody and childcare arrangements. According to the law, parents must now offer the other parent the opportunity to care for the child before seeking alternative childcare options. This ensures that both parents are given priority in caring for their child, promoting cooperation and shared responsibility.

dad picking up daughter

The Right of First Refusal in child custody was introduced in Colorado as part of the 2013 Senate Bill 13-073. The aim of this legislation was to encourage shared parenting and reduce potential conflict when arranging childcare after divorce or separation. The bill was designed to ensure that both parents have equal opportunities to spend time with their children and contribute to their upbringing. This amendment in Colorado family law reflects an ongoing trend in the U.S, where many states have started recognizing and implementing similar provisions in their custody laws. Notably, states such as Illinois, California, and Texas have similar clauses that prioritize the involvement of both parents in childcare arrangements, demonstrating a nationwide shift towards promoting the best interests of the child.

How Does Right of First Refusal Work?

The right of first refusal is typically included in the parenting plan or custody agreement. It requires one parent to offer the other parent the opportunity to care for the child during their scheduled time if they cannot do so themselves. This can include instances such as work commitments, illness, or travel. The offering parent must provide reasonable notice and give the other parent a reasonable amount of time to respond. If the other parent cannot take on the responsibility, alternative childcare arrangements can be made.

Exceptions and Limitations

While the right of first refusal aims to promote cooperative co-parenting, some exceptions and limitations must be considered. These include situations where it may not be in the best interest of the child for one parent to have custody, such as in cases of abuse or neglect. Additionally, parents can agree to waive the right of first refusal if they have alternative childcare arrangements in place or if it is not feasible due to distance or work schedules.

Benefits for Children

The right of first refusal can benefit children involved in custody arrangements. It allows them to spend more time with both parents, promoting a healthy and loving relationship with each. It also provides stability and consistency in their care, as they are less likely to be shuffled between different caregivers.

Benefits for Parents

For parents, the right of first refusal offers a sense of security, knowing that their child will be well cared for by the other parent if needed. It also promotes cooperation and shared responsibility in co-parenting, reducing conflict and promoting a positive relationship between the parents.

A Valuable Addition to Colorado Custody Agreements

The right of first refusal can be a valuable addition to a custody agreement, promoting the child’s best interests. It allows them to spend time with both parents and offers peace of mind when parents cannot care for their children. Effective communication and mutual agreement on the specifics of this right are important for parents. By working together, they can create a parenting plan that benefits everyone, especially the child. Incorporating this clause into the custody agreement promotes a healthy co-parenting relationship. Regularly revisiting and updating the agreement is recommended to meet changing needs and circumstances. Ultimately, prioritizing the child’s well-being should be the top priority for all parents involved.

Answering Your Most Pressing Questions about Child Custody in Colorado

At Petrelli Previtera, LLC, we’re well aware you’ll have many questions throughout your child custody case. We draw on our decades-long experience representing families like yours to provide timely answers that leave your mind at peace.

  • Some of your questions might include:
  • What is the process to modify child custody?
  • If I have custody, can I make decisions regarding my child’s education?
  • How old does my child have to be to decide where she wants to live?
  • Can we include a “Right of First Refusal” clause in our Colorado Child Custody agreement?

Our Attorneys are here to listen and work with you to explain how the law may apply to your case and if needed fight for your rights during your custody case.

Award-Winning Child Custody Attorneys You Can Count On

We pride ourselves in offering aggressive representation coupled with compassionate and dedicated advocacy, and we are ready to listen to you. Why wait when you can start getting answers, direction, and clarity for your situation right away? Contact us today at (303) 416-7086 to schedule your first comprehensive consultation with our team.

Client Testimonials

Here's what our clients have to say about working with us. Please note, results may vary based on individual circumstances.

Melinda Previtera, Esq. came highly recommended to our family. Her knowledge base, professionalism, and compassion paved the way for a successful outcome. Melinda is efficient, detailed, and informative. She helps manage expectations, and postures her client for a fair and equitable result. We are happy to recommend Melinda!

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My experience was very good. Everyone was professional and attentive to my needs, keeping me updated every step of the way. I couldn’t ask for a better result, highly recommended.

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My marriage life has been a hell for me for the past four years until I decided to put an end to what has to be ended. Choosing a lawyer was another additional stressful part of the long process. I’m so glad that I’ve found the right one for me at Petrelli Previtera. Life isn’t always fair, but at least having her in my corner, felt even better. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough!

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