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Easing the Pain of Divorce - Allocating Parental Duties

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Divorce can be difficult and emotional, especially if there are children involved.  Parents must make complicated decisions regarding physical custody, parenting time, decision-making and financial responsibility.. Parenting in divorce can be difficult to navigate, and it is often helpful to consult with a lawyer for an explanation of legal rights and responsibilities.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Allocation of parental responsibilities (APR) proceedings occur in divorce cases even when the parents weren't married in Colorado. APR, aka child custody and visitation, distributes physical and legal care between parents. There are many decisions to be made in determining parenting arrangements. A few include:

  • The children’s daily schedule

  • Pick-up and drop-off arrangements

  • Holiday and vacation schedules

Sometimes if parents can't reach agreement on these issues, a court must decide for them. In those instances, a judge considers many factors such as:

  • The wishes of the child’s parents

  • The wishes of the child, if old enough to express a mature opinion

  • The relationship between the parents, children and siblings

  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school, and community

  • The mental and physical health of all

  • The ability of a parent to encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent

  • The proximity of the parents to each other

  • The existence of any spousal or child abuse or neglect

  • The ability of each party to elevate the needs of the child

Decision Making

After determining who will provide physical care for the child and when, it is important to determine who will make major decisions for the child.

Major decisions cover such areas as medical treatment, education, religion, and extracurricular activities. The parties can make decisions jointly, or one parent can have the authority to make the decisions independently. If a court decides the issue of decision making authority because the parents have not come to an agreement, a court will examine a number of factors to include:

  • The parties’ ability to cooperate and make decisions jointly

  • The time and commitment of each parent to the child’s upbringing

  • What allocation will promote frequent and continuing contact between the parents and the child

  • The existence of child or spousal abuse

Child Support

Once parenting time has been set, then child support must be determined. Child support in Colorado is based on parenting time and the income of the parents. There are two different child support guidelines worksheets, once for majority time parenting and one for shared parenting. If the non-majority time parent has more than 92 overnights a year, then the parenting arrangement is shared. In a shared arrangement, the amount of child support will be impacted by the number of overnights that the non-majority time parent has. The Colorado Courts website has a free online child support calculator that anyone may use to calculate child support guidelines.

Are you looking for a Family Law  attorney in Denver or Aurora? At WS Law, we understand how to assist families in obtaining child support modifications. The attorneys at Whitcomb, Selinsky Law PC would love to share their expertise with you. Please call (303) 543-1958.

 

 

About the AuthorWhitcomb, Selinsky, PC

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