Aurora Child Custody
With a population of over 320,000 residents, Aurora spans Arapahoe and Adams Counties, and a portion enters Douglas County. Since the early 1900s, there has been a large military presence in the city, including an army hospital and air force bases. The Buckley Air Force Base is the city's largest employer. If you are a parent getting a divorce there, one of the biggest concerns you may have is what will happen to your children and how much control you will have over their upbringing. The experienced Aurora child custody lawyers at Plog & Stein have guided many individuals through child custody matters. We can help you advocate for a parenting arrangement that meets your needs and those of your children.Child Custody in Colorado
Of paramount importance in every child custody dispute before a Colorado court are the "best interests of the child." Although many people in Colorado still use the term "child custody," the terms that are used by courts are "parental responsibility" and "parenting time." There are three main elements of parental responsibility and parenting time: where the child lives, major life decisions regarding such matters as health, education, and religion, and visitation for a non-custodial parent. In most cases, parents share joint parental responsibilities over major life decisions, but there are differences in arrangements regarding residence and visitation.
In Colorado, divorcing parents submit a proposed child custody and visitation schedule to the court when they file to dissolve their marriage. If they are not able to come up with a schedule together, the judge typically orders mediation. If mediation fails, but shared custody is possible, the judge will order a joint schedule that takes into account the child's activities and needs. Factors the judge will consider in connection with the child's best interests include:
- The child's relationship to each parent;
- Each parent's ability to put the child's needs ahead of his or her own;
- Each parent's willingness to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other parent;
- The physical and mental health of the parents and child;
- A parent's abuse or neglect of a child; and
- The physical proximity of the parents' residences.
Each parent has an equal opportunity to obtain primary residential responsibility for a child. Even if a child lives with both parents equally, one parent's home is usually designated the primary residence for the child, and this has implications for child support that our child custody attorneys can explain to Aurora residents. When a parent has 93 or more overnights per year with a child, the parents are considered to have shared custody.
Although Colorado courts try to give equal parenting time to each parent, geography can render equal parenting time difficult for both parents and children. If parents live several hours away from each other, it is common for the absent parent to have parenting time every other weekend, as well as time in the summer and on holidays. If parents live in different states, the absent parent often has a larger chunk of the summer as well as alternate holidays. Usually, the parents divide the costs of flying in proportion to their incomes.Consult an Aurora Lawyer for a Child Custody Matter
Your children are likely the highest priority in your life. The divorce attorneys at Plog & Stein have represented many Aurora residents in devising parenting plans that allow families to move forward after a marriage ends. Whether you want to be the primary custodial parent or will only seek visitation, our objective is to guide you through the child custody process with careful attention to your needs and goals. Contact our Aurora child custody attorneys via our online form or at (303) 781-0322.