Learn More - Custody Issues & Law

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You will learn:          


             1.  Legal issues of a parenting plan.
             2.  Legal issues of child support.
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1. Basics


A custody case decides two significant issues


1. Parenting Plan
  • The plan will set the parenting schedule. 
  • This plan will determine who will make the major life decisions for the child.
    • Education Decisions.
    • Medical Decisions.
    • General Welfare.


2. Child Support


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2.  Parenting Time


This section of the parenting plan will outline the times the child will spend with each parent.


This schedule includes the standard monthly, holiday, and vacation schedule. 





This schedule is your regular monthly routine. Consider,

  • How much time will the kids spend away from either parent?
  • How will parenting time exchanges occur?


Holidays & Vacations


This schedule is the parenting time during special occasions. Consider,

  • How and when will you decide vacation dates each year?
  • Which holidays will your child spend with each parent?
  • Will this change even to odd-numbered years?


Best Interest of the Child


The Court will consider a few things to determine parenting time:

  • The wishes of both parents.
  • The wishes of the child (if they are old enough).
  • The kid's relationship and interaction with each parent and any siblings.
  • The kid's adjustment to home, school, and community.
  • The health of everyone involved. 
  • The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the kid and the other parent. 
  • Whether past contact with the kid reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support.
  • The physical proximity between the parents.
  • The ability of each parent to place the needs of the child ahead of their own.



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Parenting Time Law  –  C.R.S. § 14-10-124(1.5)(A)
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3.  Decision Making






Generally, the parent who has time with the child will make minor medical decisions. Some things to consider:

  • Who will make major medical decisions? One parent? Both?
    • Serious Medical Conditions.
    • Therapy.
    • Orthodontics.
  • When and how does the other parent need to be notified of medical decisions?
  • What is the plan in emergency situations?






How you will make educational decisions will be a part of the parenting plan. Consider,

  • How will new schools be chosen as that situation arises?
  • Do your kids have special education needs?
  • How will those be accommodated?
  • Who will help the kids with their homework?
  • Which parent will the school contact?
  • Will both parents participate in school activities like parent-teacher conferences?


General Welfare




These are the unique circumstances in your family. Consider,

  • Are there friends or family members with whom the child should have no or limited contact?
  • Do the children need counseling?
  • Do you as parents need counseling?
  • Do you need a detailed plan outlining communication with the other parent? 
  • How will you choose activities for the children?



Best Interest of the Child


The court will decide decision making based on what is best for the child. The Court will assign decision making to one parent or to both. The Court will consider:

  • The same factors in determining parenting time (see above).
  • The ability of the parties to cooperate in making decisions together.
  • If past interactions indicate that joint decision making would create a positive relationship. 
  • If joint decision making would cause more frequent or continued contact. 



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Decision Making Law  –  C.R.S. § 14-10-124(1.5)(B)
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4.  Child Support


It's the Child's Right

  • Child support allows a kid to have a consistent lifestyle with both parents. 
  • The quality of life with one parent should be about the same as with the other.
  • This may mean one parent supplements the financial situation of the other.


Child support is the right of the child, and not of either parent.




The math problem to decide child support includes:

  • The financial circumstances of each parent. 
  • The burden of child-related expenses on each parent. Including,
    • Child care.
    • Medical and Dental Insurance. 
    • Educational and other expenses.
  • The number of nights the child spends with each parent per month.




  Child Support Calculator


Use this tool to help determine the child support amount. 

  • Download the calculator.
  • Enter your information.  
  • Print out the report to include with your pre-trial materials.



Icon of scales infront of a bookmarked lawbook.


Child Support Law  –  C.R.S. § 14-10-115