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Preparing to file a child custody petition

Colorado parents are always concerned for their children’s well-being. In families where divorce takes place, a concerned parent will want to make sure that he or she resolves child custody issues in a manner that is the least disruptive to his or her kids. There are various types of custody, and it’s important to gain a basic understanding of each kind before going to court.

Parents may execute their own child custody agreement

In some cases, parents are able to work together to write out terms of a custody agreement. They then seek the court’s approval. In cases where parents disagree about custody issues, however, the court’s intervention can be sought to make decisions on their behalf.

The following list includes the basic types of custody that may or may not apply in a particular divorce case:

  • Physical custody
  • Legal custody
  • Shared custody
  • Sole custody

One of the top priorities concerning child-related issues in a divorce is where the children in question are going to live. This is what the law refers to as “physical custody.” Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to which parent (often it’s both of them) has the authority to make decisions on behalf of a child, such as issues concerning health, faith, education or other life events.

Determining whether shared or sole custody is best

If there are no extenuating circumstances, such as one parent accusing the other of being abusive or having a substance abuse problem, it is likely that the court would find it best to order shared legal custody. In such cases, children typically spend ample time living with both parents, alternating between households.

If, however, a parent shows evidence that his or her ex is a detriment to the children’s well-being, the court may grant sole custody to the parent who filed the petition. Since there have been cases where one parent has lied about the other, the court always carefully considers allegations before handing down a ruling. Any Colorado parent with questions about child custody may reach out for support by requesting a meeting with an experienced family law attorney.

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