“Parental responsibilities” as the Colorado judicial system likes to call child custody are the rights and responsibilities the court decides when a divorce occurs with children under the age of 19 in the home. This decision includes which parent will be the decision-maker of the child (ren) and how much time each parent is allocated with the child (ren). In the 21st century, parent normalls share responsibilities of raising their children. But what exactly are the father’s rights in Colorado custody battles? Petrelli Previtera, LLC, is a child custody law firm in Highlands Ranch. We specialize in family law, including child custody and child support. In this blog post, we’ll explain a father’s rights when divorce occurs. Contact us today for a free divorce attorney consultation!
A FATHER’S CUSTODY RIGHTS IN THE STATE OF COLORADO
Not too long ago, the mother was automatically given custody of the kids in the event of a divorce unless the mother could be proven unfit. This was due to the traditional role of the mother as the primary caregiver for the children as well as the one whom the children typically bonded with the most. While this is no longer the case, many fathers still feel they face an uphill battle when divorcing with children involved. A father’s custody rights should be reviewed and understood.
THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD
In the state of Colorado, the court’s role in determining parental responsibilities is to determine what is best for the child. The father has just as equal rights as the mother, as the state of Colorado recognizes the valuable role both parents play in a child’s life for their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. Many factors and conditions go into determining what is best for the child. Some of these are below:
- If the child is of school age, the court will look at if the child will have to change schools to live with one parent over another parent. This plays into the question of how will child custody impact the child’s life?
- If the child is old enough, the child may be interviewed by the court (hopefully without undue influence by one parent or another) and asked the child’s preferences in terms of living situations.
- The court will take into consideration the wishes of the mother and the father. For example, if one does not want primary child custody, the matter is resolved fairly quickly.
- The court will consider the child’s health and safety with regards to child custody, as well as the parents’ ability to co-parent and provide a positive, loving home for their child.
- The court will take into consideration the past behaviors of the parent, such as any abuse or substance abuse. It is in these situations that divorce proceedings and child custody matters can turn ugly.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHYSICAL CUSTODY AND JOINT PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES?
Physical custody and parental responsibilities are related but separate decisions. One instance this is seen is when one of the parents moves far away for a job or other life event. In this case, most likely the physical custody of the child will be rewarded with the parent who is not moving, but both parents may still share parental responsibilities, which is the major decisions for the child. Most major decisions in a child’s life involve education, healthcare, and religion. This also entails caring for the child and supporting the child.
A FATHER’S RIGHT TO CHILD SUPPORT
When one parent is granted full custody of the child (this parent is known as the custodian), the other parent (the non-custodial parent) is usually required to pay the custodial parent child support to help with everyday living expenses, such as the cost of living, food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical costs. A father has just as much of a right to child support if he is the custodial parent that a mother does.
A FATHER’S PURSUING PARENTAL RIGHTS
Each parent (both mother and father) can pursue full custody or partial child custody for both physical custody and parental responsibilities. However, the court will decide what is best for the child. In child custody cases, the child is who matters, not any vendetta of a parent or even desire of the parents. Society does have its own pressures, such as the belief that the child is better off with the mother who may be seen as less of a mother without full custody. And if the father does pursue full custody, he may be labeled as trying to take away the kids from their mother. Divorce can bring out the worst in people when they are struggling with a turmoil of powerful emotions.
Petrelli Previtera, LLC in Douglas County has a team of divorce and child custody attorneys. We specialize in helping clients through the turbulent divorce and child custody process. Like the court, our primary concern is the children when it comes to child custody. We do everything to help the child through this difficult time in his or her life and do the right thing when it comes to parental responsibility and physical custody. With over 30 years of experience, we have the knowledge and compassion to handle your child custody case, including child support issues. Colorado follows the Colorado Child Support Guidelines, which can be complicated to navigate. Let the experts take some of the stress and burden of your divorce off your plate. Contact us for a confidential divorce attorney consultation today!