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When you decide to divorce, one of the biggest decisions you and your spouse will face is that of custody. Where will your children live? Who will make the major life decisions for them? How will the other parent fit into their lives? These are all questions that you and your spouse will have to find the answers to. Unfortunately, divorcing couples are not always in agreement and custody battles are common, especially in highly contested divorces. When this occurs, you need an experienced Boulder child custody attorney on your side to help protect your parenting rights.
Colorado law doesn't actually recognize the word "custody". Instead, they focus on parenting time and decision-making capabilities. Yet many still refer to these decisions as physical custody and legal custody. No matter what you call it, the result is the same. Parents need to decide if there will be a primary guardian or primary caregiver for their children or if they will share that responsibility jointly. They will also need to determine who will make major decisions regarding their child's care and well-being.
Custody or parenting responsibilities include two separate issues: where the child will physically reside and who will make legal decisions regarding the welfare of the child. In many contested custody cases, the Boulder courts will appoint a child and family investigator to decide who is best suited for these responsibilities and roles. In uncontested divorces, divorcing couples are usually able to agree on a visitation and custody plan that best fits their family, work schedules, and desires.
Many couples desire shared custody or joint custody, yet the courts will strive to do what is in the best interest of the child. In situations where there is no violence, no substance abuse, and little discord between the parents, the courts will usually award 50/50 visitation or joint physical custody to the parents.
Besides choosing where the kids will reside and how much time you will get to spend with them, parents must choose who will ultimately be responsible for making major decisions regarding their care. This can include where they will go to school, medical care decisions, and decisions regarding other important life events. This is known as legal custody. Joint legal custody is ideal for many parents, especially those that are amicable and cooperative. This allows both parents an equal say in making major decision for their child's well-being.
Sadly, numerous divorces are stalled and complicated by difficult custody battles. These battles can exhaust spouses' bank accounts, time, and emotionally harm the children that are caught in the middle. At Goff & Goff, our Boulder child custody attorneys work diligently to protect your parenting rights, while working to reach a beneficial child custody agreement as quickly as possible. We realize that there are times when custody must be fought aggressively—especially in situations where there is drug abuse, domestic violence, accusations of sexual abuse, or negligence. As such, we fight aggressively for our clients and for their right to their children.
If you have questions about child custody or are considering divorce, we can help. Contact the Boulder divorce attorneys at Goff & Goff today for a free initial consultation. Call us at 303-872-0535 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.