Raising a child is hard and having to do so with an ex-partner or ex-spouse can make the process even more challenging. That is because kids do not come with instruction manuals or rule books. There are no definitive answers on how best to discipline a child or whether private school or public school will serve the educational needs of every student. Parents have to figure out what their children need and make decisions based on those needs, and not all co-parents easily agree on these matters.

In Colorado, divorced or separated parents may be granted parental responsibilities over their children. Parental responsibilities are essentially synonymous with child custody in other states, and like custody parental responsibilities can relate to a child’s physical maintenance (where they live) and their intangible needs (how decisions are made about their upbringing.

The power to make decisions about one’s child is vital to maintaining a relationship with them after a divorce or separation. A parent who has this right may advocate for their child’s medical, educational, or spiritual needs. They may have a voice in the conversation of whether a child should change schools, try a new therapy, or seek support from a counselor. Without the right to speak on a child’s intangible needs, a parent may lack the power to have control over the important decisions that will affect their child’s life.

Different family law situations can result in different distributions of parental responsibilities between parents and this post offers no specific legal advice. For parents who wish to improve their involvement in their kids’ lives, options may be available. Parents may want to reach out to their family law attorneys about changing their parental responsibilities.