Many people assume that it is difficult, if not impossible, for fathers to win custody of their children. But by law, the courts actually cannot assume that one parent is the better choice solely because of sex.
Colorado law puts mothers and fathers on equal ground when it comes to child custody. This is true even when children are very young at the time of divorce or separation. So, in theory Colorado's child custody laws (known as Allocation of Parental Responsibilities) are gender-neutral.
However, the truth is that mothers do win residential custody (parenting time) in Colorado more often than fathers and there are a number of reasons for this.
Colorado courts are directed to consider the best interests of the child to make decisions regarding custody and parenting time. Courts consider many factors to determine the best interests of the child, but in general they favor the parent who has taken on more of the child-rearing responsibilities.
Because mothers are generally more likely than fathers to have spent more time caring for the children (especially young children), some mothers may have an advantage in "best interests" decisions.
Nonetheless, the playing ground is more equal than ever before between mothers and fathers in child custody disputes. Additionally, while in the past courts favored sole custody, equal parenting time is becoming more valued.
If you are a mother or father facing a parenting time dispute, you must keep in mind that the court prioritizes the child's best interests above all else. Prepare to prove that spending time with you is in your child's best interests. When your child is a priority in your life, you have a bedroom or special place for him or her in your home; you follow child support orders; you attend important events, like recitals, parent-teacher conferences and sports games; you strive to be a responsible and involved parent.
An experienced attorney can help you achieve a child custody arrangement that works for your family. If you want to explore your options and learn about your parental rights, contact the attorneys at Danielsen Westhoff for a free legal consultation today. We have offices in Broomfield, Cherry Creek and Golden.