Denver Child Custody Lawyer
There is perhaps no other family law matter more stressful or contentious than determining custody of your children. Deciding what the visitation (parenting time) schedule will be or whether there will be joint legal custody of the kids can easily make even the most amicable partners erupt into heated disagreements. Additionally, navigating Colorado’s child custody laws, norms, and court procedures can also be a complicated task that amplifies confusion and stress for all parties involved.
The first step in obtaining a fair outcome in the best interest of your child is finding the right family law firm to advocate for you. The child custody orders you end up with can have an impact on your children’s future, for years to come. Whether your case is settling or you’re headed to a hearing in front of the presiding judge, you want to make sure that those orders contain the terms and details needed to give you a workable parenting plan. That’s where we come in. The Denver child custody lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. are skilled in all aspects of child custody litigation.
We will effectively fight for you when dealing with issues such as:
- Establishing Initial Child Custody Orders
- Parenting Time and Parenting Time Modifications
- Parental Responsibilities and Decision-Making
- Enforcement of Orders
- Child Custody Emergencies
- Interstate Custody
- Child Custody Evaluations and Experts; and
We recognize that to most parents, nothing matters more than their children’s futures. Each of our attorneys is skilled and experienced in dealing with both simple and complex custody issues in all the Denver metropolitan area courts. If you’re dealing with issues regarding the custody of your children, contact the experienced Denver family law attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. Regardless of the issues you face or the stage your case is at, we can help!
Why Choose Plog & Stein, P.C.
At Plog & Stein, P.C., our family law professionals are well-versed in all aspects of child custody in Colorado. Since 1999, we have helped thousands of parents understand their rights and options related to their children. With each case, we utilize our experience to deliver exceptional service and quality representation to our clients.
- We will listen to your concerns and the details of your situation before crafting a legal strategy that is specifically catered to your desired outcome.
- We have experience resolving custody matters in both divorce and stand-alone custody cases, including cases involving third party non-parents seeking custody of a child.
- We provide our clients with honest and sound legal advice, with an open line of communication at each step. We believe that good communication and an understanding of your rights is the cornerstone of your ability to make good decisions in your case.
- We go into every client interaction with the intent of building a good working rapport and a lasting relationship. We understand that family law matters can last for years and strive to be there for our clients until their children are grown.
Matters of child custody may have lasting ramifications on any family. We understand the seriousness of this decision and are devoted to providing you with the representation necessary to give you an outcome that is in the best interests of you and your children.
Why Do You Need a Child Custody Attorney in Denver?
An experienced family law attorney knows the ins and outs of dealing with the array of child custody issues that can arise. A child custody lawyer knows what both courts and custody experts are looking for in terms of evidence related to parenting time, decision-making, and emergency matters. We know what a fair settlement looks like and the significance of each word in an agreement can have. As legal professionals, we know what it takes to effectively present your case both in and out of the courtroom. We are dedicated to zealously fighting for our clients.
With years of experience and insights, we are here to help our clients work through the legal challenges that come when dealing with child custody matters. In general, having an attorney in your child custody proceeding can provide you with the benefit of knowing your interests are protected at all times, including:
- The drafting and management of court pleadings and other documents.
- Dealing with both the court and opposing counsel regarding deadlines and other procedural requirements in your case.
- Negotiating a fair settlement regarding both large and small custody issues, such as primary residence or a holiday parenting time schedule.
- Guiding you through the court process related to child custody litigation.
- Assisting you in dealing with child custody experts or evaluators in your case.
- The gathering and presentation of evidence for settlement or hearing.
- Preparation of evidence and testimony for trial should your case remain contested or unsettled.
Venturing into custody litigation alone can be overwhelming, particularly if the other side has their own legal counsel. The experienced child custody lawyers in Denver at Plog & Stein, P.C. strive to give you peace of mind throughout this highly stressful process by providing strong, quality representation. Our only goal is to ensure your needs are met.
Establishing Parental Responsibilities Has Many Complex Elements
In the State of Colorado, “parental responsibilities” is the formally recognized term for child custody. Parental responsibilities are comprised of the two primary elements of parenting time and decision-making.
“Parenting time” is the time children spend with their parents. In other states, this is more commonly known as “physical custody.” Parenting time schedules can vary from case to case. When the parents share equal time, there is no primary residential custodian. However, 50/50 time is not optimal or feasible in all cases. Parenting time is completely severable from decision-making rights. When formulating a parenting time schedule, it’s important to include as much specificity and detail as possible regarding the schedule, exchanges of the children, holidays and vacations, and more.
The primary battle in most child custody cases is going to be over the issue of parenting time. While most Denver area child custody courts favor maximizing time between both parents, issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, or serious mental health concerns can impact what the court might order in terms of a schedule. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for either a parental responsibilities evaluation or child and family investigation to be ordered when the parties disagree regarding major parenting time issues, and particularly when there are other safety issues at hand. Ultimately, the court is charged with entering parenting time and custody orders it believes to be in the best interest of a child. As this standard is subjective to the judge in your case, it’s important to make sure you’re armed with the evidence needed to present your arguments.
At Plog & Stein, P.C. our child custody lawyers deal with all aspects of parenting time, including the establishment of initial orders, modifications to the parenting time orders, parenting time emergencies, relocations, and enforcement of orders pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129.5. Child custody orders are in effect until a child turns 18 and it’s quite common for legal issues to arise after the initial custody arrangements are made.
“Decision-making authority” establishes who makes major decisions on behalf of your children. This is recognized as “legal custody” in other states. Decision-making orders typically relate to major medical, educational, and general welfare decisions. In most cases, parents end up with joint decision-making, under the premise that they have the ability to work together in the best interest of their children. However, sole decision-making may be appropriate in high conflict cases or cases involving domestic abuse or mental health issues. Our attorneys can help you weigh your options regarding legal custody and decision-making.
Recognizes that circumstances can change, Colorado statute, C.R.S. 14-10-131, authorizes modifications to decision-making orders until a child reaches 18 years of age. Typically modifications will only occur if the current decision-making scheme poses a physical or emotional danger to the child. In some instances, a court may also be able to resolve an ongoing dispute regarding a specific decision-subject, particularly when the parties are at an impasse and a decision needs to be made. Our child custody attorneys are equipped to deal with all your legal custody needs.
At Plog & Stein, P.C., we believe that resolving your legal issues regarding parenting time or decision-making via agreement is generally best, as it allows our clients to dictate their own futures. Again, not all cases settle and we will be prepared, in those instances, to take your matter to court.
We Can Also Help with Non-Traditional Custody Cases
While most custody matters arise in a divorce or allocation of parental responsibilities case between the parents, custody issues can also be litigated in paternity cases or when a non-parent, third party seeks custody. Likewise, when there has been a case involving the custody of a child, grandparents (and great-grandparents) also have the statutory right to seek visitation.
- Paternity Cases: When paternity has not been established or disputes agree as to the paternity of a child, either parent, or potential parent, can file a paternity action under C.R.S. Title 19, Article 4. Thought the best interest standards still apply, paternity cases are litigated under a different set of juvenile law rules. Once paternity is established, generally, through DNA testing, the court can enter visitation and legal custody orders.
- Third-Party Child Custody. Colorado law allows non-parents to seek custody of a child under certain circumstances, such as when the child is not in the physical care of either parent. In these matters, the petitioning party must be able to show that they meet the requirements for being able to seek custody. This also holds true for grandparents wishing to obtain custody of a grandchild. If you are contemplating seeking custody of a child of whom you are not the biological parent, it makes sense to first consult with an experienced child custody attorney.
- Grandparent Visitation. Grandparents have the right to seek court-ordered visitation with their grandchildren, but only if there has already been an existing case regarding custody of the child, or if they are the parents of a parent who is now deceased. Requests for grandparent visitation can only be filed once in a two year period. Courts must determine, based on clear and convincing evidence, that grandparent visitation is in a child’s best interest.
Plog & Stein, P.C. can give you the guidance and representation you need in any of these types of cases, regardless of which side of the equation you’re on. We have a wide breadth of experience and knowledge in the custody process for people in non-traditional situations and can advise you on the proper measures necessary to secure your desired outcome.
We Can Help You Fight for Your Children. Contact Us Today.
Whether you are a married couple undergoing a divorce, or unwed parents seeking a formal custody arrangement, an experienced family law attorney is essential to protecting your rights as a parent and your children’s best interests throughout the process.
If you need help determining the terms of child custody either through a new agreement necessitated by divorce or modifying a previous agreement, please contact the skilled Denver child custody lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. With our help, you can fight to secure orders that reflect both your wishes and protects your children’s well-being. As part of our child custody practice, we also deal with all matters related to child support and the financial support of children.
At Plog & Stein, P.C., our only goal is preserving the well-being of our clients, ensuring that their needs are met by our representation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.
To enlist our personalized legal services for your custody case, contact us as soon as possible.