ALLOCATION OF PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES
In the state of Colorado, the term parental responsibilities encompass two major concepts: decision-making responsibilities (custody) and parenting time (visitation). These two issues are determined independently of one another.
Decision-making responsibilities allocation determines which parent will have the authority to make major decisions for the minor child or children. The types of decisions include major responsibilities that affect the health and well being of the child, such as education, health care and religion; each parent makes everyday decisions when the child is spending time with him or her.
How Does It Work? Courts in Colorado determine allocation of decision-making authority based on the best interests of the children, taking into account the parents’ ability to cooperate, the ability of each parent to put the child’s needs first and the history of parenting by each party. Either parent may have sole decision-making responsibilities for the minor child or children; the parents may share this authority. If a parent has sole decision-making authority, he or she can unilaterally make all major decisions that affect the child; typically after conferring with the other parent about the issue at hand. When decision-making responsibilities are shared, the parents generally attempt to agree on major decisions. If agreement cannot be reached, the parents may resort to mediation, arbitration or court intervention.
Parenting time is the term the state of Colorado gives to the idea of visitation. Regardless of the home in which the child primarily resides, it is probable that the other parent will have parenting time with the child or children. Parenting time is also determined based on best interests of the children, including the schedules that are appropriate for children of any given age. The ultimate goal for any parenting time schedule is to foster a meaningful bond between the child and each of the parents.
How Does It Work? Parental responsibilities agreements and orders, especially as they relate to parenting time, are typically very detailed and their preparation is a time-consuming and involved process. There are many factors that affect parental issues, including but not limited to proximity of the parents to each other, school and work schedules, holidays and transportation arrangements. These issues must be considered and specifically mapped out to avoid conflict and disagreement over parental issues in the future.
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"Mychael Dave has represented us during the last several years in connection with a case involving allocation of parental responsibilities. His advice and guidance has been invaluable. We are most appreciative for his gracious help. Mychael is an awesome attorney!"
-Sabrina and Preston Krauss