Centennial Child Custody Lawyers
Child Custody Attorneys Representing Centennial Clients
When children experience the upheaval of a divorce or the splitting up of their family, the situation can be very distressing for all parties involved. Everyone wants the best for their children, but when custody is in dispute, the children are often caught in the middle. Whether you are in a prolonged battle for the right to spend time with your children or just beginning the process of seeking custody, contact the Centennial child custody lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. for an advocate who will be your guide through this stressful and emotionally trying time.
Common Issues Parents Face in Child Custody Cases
While parenting time is the single most important issue to most parents, child custody matters extend far beyond where a child will live for the majority of the time. Common issues in a child custody case can include:
- How the parents will address the child’s healthcare needs and who will make decisions regarding treatments and interventions;
- Whether the child should have contact with third parties in a parent’s life, such as significant others, friends, and extended family members;
- How the parents will handle vacations with the child;
- Religious education and activities for the child;
- What extracurricular activities the child will participate in;
- How parents who do not get along will handle co-parenting; and
- How the parents will address the child’s education needs.
If you are facing these issues or any other issues regarding the care of your child and your rights as a parent, the Colorado family court can address them in a child custody order. And when you are ready to initiate your case, a child custody lawyers in Centennial can help make sure you get the legal relief you need.
How is Child Custody Determined in Centennial?
Because child custody is such a sensitive and important issue, many different factors come into play to help the court determine what is in the best interest of the child.
Family law judges consider the following when determining what is in the best interests of a child:
- The wishes of the child;
- Each parent’s ability to encourage the sharing of affection, contact, and love between the child and the other parent;
- Any history of domestic violence involving either parent’s household;
- The interrelationship and interaction between the child and their parents, their siblings, and other significant parties in the child’s life;
- The wishes of the parents;
- The physical and mental health of everyone involved;
- The physical proximity of the parents;
- Whether past the involvement of each parent with the child reflects a system of time commitment, values, and mutual support;
- The child’s adjustment to their community, home, and school; and
- The ability of each parent to place the child’s needs above their own.
Every situation is unique, so there is no set formula for judges to decide what will work best for each family. No matter the situation or how contentious relationships between parties have become, the most important thing is putting the child’s needs and what is best for them first and foremost.
Unless the other parent is an emotional or physical danger to the child, the court’s expectation will be to encourage your child to have a relationship with the other parent. Litigation generally arises regarding the extent of the relationship each parent will have in terms of the time spent with the child. Litigation can be an unpleasant experience, especially in family law matters, but every Centennial child custody attorneys from Plog & Stein knows how to make the process as smooth as possible.
The Different Parts of a Custody Order
In Centennial and throughout Colorado, statute deems child custody to be “parental responsibility.” Parental responsibility entails three main areas:
- Who the child will primarily live with (the residential parent),
- Who has rights to make major decisions for the child, and
- How the parenting time schedule (commonly called visitation) will be allocated between the parents.
In many cases, both parties will share the responsibility of making major decisions for the child, but disagreements can sometimes arise, such as school choice or selection of a doctor. The majority of litigation related to custody ties into the visitation schedule and what that will look like. Though equal, 50/50 time is more commonplace, it is not mandated or universal.
In instances where the circumstances affecting the well-being of the child or children become murky for the court, a court-appointed parenting expert may be used to help make recommendations. These are neutral, third-party investigators charged with evaluating the family situation, and they come in the form of either a Child and Family Investigator (CFI) or a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator. An advantage to having a parenting expert involved in your case is that it gives the children a voice in the proceedings. If your custody case requires the engagement of one of these types of professionals, you should speak with your Centennial child custody attorneys for recommendations on a competent expert suitable for your case.
Detailed Custody and Parenting Time Orders Are Key
Spending any amount of time in divorce court can be a painful experience, and it can be worse if you need to return to court after receiving a final decree. Unfortunately, if your current parenting time orders do not adequately address all of your needs or your children’s needs as circumstances change, you may need to seek a modification. An order might need to change because:
- There has been a change in a parent’s work schedule,
- The parents have to choose a new school for their child,
- A parent plans to relocate,
- The parents are unable to agree on how to handle child care when certain caretakers are unavailable,
- The child has new healthcare needs,
- The child has new extracurricular or schooling needs,
- There are changes in the parties’ financial circumstances, or
- Complying with the current orders is causing hardship for one of the parents or the child.
If you can prove that a change to your parenting time order is in the best interests of your child, the court may grant your motion for a modification. Our attorneys can obtain the modifications that you need.
Having the option to modify your orders is great, but not needing to use that option is better. You can avoid filing a motion to modify your parental responsibilities by negotiating and arguing for detailed custody and parenting time orders before receiving your final decree. Detailed orders can help ensure that all your parenting needs are met. Detailed orders can also include contingency plans that do not require further litigation when specific problems arise or changes occur.
A skilled and family-focused Centennial child custody lawyers at Plog & Stein can help you identify important details to include in an order to allocate parental responsibilities. We can also help ensure your rights and your child’s well-being are protected while maintaining the maximum amount of peace possible between you and the other parent.
The Help of a Good Centennial Custody Lawyers Is Crucial
In many cases, obtaining original child custody and parenting time orders is only the first phase of a case. As child custody orders run until a child turns 18, it’s not uncommon for various issues to arise along the way. With more than 70 years of combined legal experience, the Centennial child custody attorneys at Plog & Stein can help you with not only the initial establishment of custody orders but also with modifications of child custody, emergencies, relocation, enforcement of child custody orders, and more.
Retain a Steadfast and Effective Custody Attorneys Serving Your Community
The City of Centennial is the tenth most populated municipality in Colorado and rests within Arapahoe County. With nearly 32,000 households with children and a recent ranking as one of the best cities for starting a family, child custody is a major part of family law cases for our clients in the area. As child custody lawyers in Centennial, we have worked with many clients to protect the best interests of their children. We are familiar with the courts and judges in Arapahoe County and have extensive experience in all areas of family law, including divorce, child support, alimony, property division, and more. Call us at 303-781-0322 or contact us online to find out more about how we can assist you.