Divorce With Children
Often, the most emotionally charged and stressful parts of a divorce with kids are related to figuring out child custody, child support, and other issues involving your children. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our legal team can meticulously analyze your case and help you figure out your next steps. Our goal is to find solutions that safeguard your interests and the future of your children in the short and the long term. We can fight aggressively for you in any litigation that may be needed or help you reach an advantageous settlement agreement.
The Complexities of a Divorce with Kids
In the late 1990s, the term “custody” was replaced in Colorado with the term “allocation of parental responsibilities.” This area addresses two major issues: parenting time and decision-making. Parenting time refers to how much time the child will spend with each parent, including day-to-day visitation schedules, pick-up and drop-off arrangements, and holidays, special events, and vacations. Decision-making, on the other hand, addresses how major decisions such as the child’s medical care, education, religion, and extracurricular activities are made. The court can allocate decision-making powers jointly to both parents or solely to one parent. This determination is made depending on the specifics of the case.
All child custody and access disputes are to be resolved in the best interest of the child. Making a determination based on the best interest of the child allows the judge to examine any factor that may be relevant to the child’s overall health, safety, and well-being, such as:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The physical and mental capability of each parent
- The living situation of each parent
- Each parent’s income and earning expenses
- The child’s preferences
- The child’s medical, educational, and other needs
- The child’s adjustment to his or her current school, home, and community.
The list above is not exhaustive. Stability, consistency, and adherence to a routine are powerful concerns when it comes to determining what is in the best interest of the child. As a result, the judge will also examine any evidence of a party’s conduct that may be detrimental to a child, such as substance abuse, domestic violence, neglect, abandonment, or an inability or unwillingness to provide medical care for the child.
In some cases, when the spouses are getting a divorce, one spouse will move to a different state. This can further complicate custody determinations. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act outlines the rules and guidelines to which Colorado courts must adhere when faced with interstate custody disputes. Our Denver divorce lawyers understand how to handle these complexities.
Unfortunately, sometimes emergencies arise when one parent threatens to leave the state with the children, or leaves with them before any custody arrangement is determined. In these cases, emergency relief may be available either to prevent the children from being moved out of Colorado or to get them back. These are highly stressful situations, and we will handle them as efficiently and aggressively as possible.
Child support is another issue that frequently comes up when spouses are going through a divorce with kids. Child support determinations in Colorado are generally based on a statutory formula. While it may seem straightforward initially, the formula can become confusing when a parent has an unconventional employment situation, is underemployed, or is unemployed. We can evaluate your situation and help you determine the child support obligation that may exist in your case. It is important to note that child support obligations typically end when a child turns 19, although there are some limited exceptions to this rule.
Contact Our Knowledgeable Legal Team
A divorce is a life-changing event that may have long-term consequences for your children and your relationship with them. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our Denver family law attorneys can help you resolve your divorce, including issues related to children. We understand the nuances of this area of law and can answer all of your questions as well as addressing your concerns along the way. We represent people in Denver, Aurora, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Castle Rock, and other cities in Denver, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties. To understand your legal rights and options, call us at (303) 781-0322 or contact us online.