When couples in Colorado separate or divorce, both parents are often concerned about what will happen to their children. In most cases, one parent will leave the family home, bringing about questions of which parent will have custody of the children. In these cases, it is not unusual for parents to mutually agree to a temporary custody arrangement that is subject to change in the future.

It should also be noted that temporary custody arrangements aren’t just used in cases of divorce or separation. There are other instances in which a parent or parents may decide to give temporary custody to another party. For example, a parent who is ill may ask a friend or family member to care for a child until the parent has recovered.

Another common scenario is that of a parent who has to temporarily relocate for work and who is reluctant to take his or her children out of school. In such cases, the parent may ask a grandparent or other family member to care for the children while the parent completes his or her job assignment.

In all cases, temporary custody arrangements should be thoughtfully negotiated and documented in writing. Issues such as child support, the ability of a parent to visit with their children, and other considerations, such as the length of the temporary custody agreement, should be described in the temporary custody document. In some cases, parents may need to go to court to have the terms of a temporary custody arrangement settled.

Parents who are considering divorce, or who are facing significant personal challenges, may benefit from speaking with a family law attorney before making decisions about temporary custody issues. A lawyer may be able to review the client’s situation and make recommendations regarding child custody issues, including visitation and financial support.