Types of Child Custody Arrangements in Colorado

Child custody arrangements in Colorado can be confusing for parents. Colorado’s child custody laws are complicated, and the language used to describe child custody arrangements no longer uses the term “custody” when defining parental rights and responsibilities.

The following article outlines the types of child custody arrangements in Colorado. For advice about a specific child custody case, consult an experienced Broomfield child custody attorney.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in Colorado

The child custody arrangement between Colorado parents is called the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities or APR. The APR is composed of two types of parental responsibilities: parenting-time responsibility and decision-making responsibility.

Parenting-Time Responsibilities in Colorado

Parenting-time responsibility refers to a child’s residence and daily care. Parents have joint parenting-time responsibility when they share approximately equal overnights in a calendar year.

If one parent has fewer than 90 overnights with a child in a calendar year, the other parent is the primary physical custodian.

Decision-Making Responsibility in Colorado

Decision-making responsibility in Colorado refers to a parent’s ability to make significant decisions about a child’s life.

These include a child’s:

  • Education;
  • Religious upbringing;
  • Medical care; and
  • Extracurricular activities.

Parents who can cooperate in the best interest of a child may share decision-making responsibility jointly. However, if there is a disagreement between joint decision-makers, they will have to seek third-party help to resolve a dispute.

Many times, issues are resolved through family court mediation or by a judge. This can be costly and inefficient.

Parents may share decision-making responsibility jointly with one parent having final authority in the event of a disagreement. The parent with the final say must exercise good faith and make any decisions in the best interest of the child otherwise that parent could lose their final say authority.

When parents cannot cooperate, one parent is unwilling to work with the other, or there is a geographical distance between the two parents that makes joint decision-making inadvisable, the court can order sole decision-making responsibility to one parent.

The Best Interest of the Child

All APR decisions are made according to the best interest of the child in Colorado. The court takes all relevant factors into account when determining the allocation of parental responsibilities including but not limited to:

  • The parents’ wishes;
  • The child’s preference is of sufficient age and maturity;
  • The child’s health and safety;
  • The child’s emotional and developmental needs;
  • Each parent’s ability to parent the child;
  • The stability of the parent’s homes; and
  • Any history of domestic violence, neglect, or abuse.

The court does not have a parental preference and prefers both parents have continuous contact with their child(ren) whenever possible. If you would like to know more about how the court makes its APR rulings, contact an experienced Broomfield child custody attorney.

Contact an Experienced Broomfield Child Custody Attorney Today

Child custody decisions can be overwhelming, but Danielsen Westhoff, PC, is ready to see you through with sound advice and representation you can trust. Danielsen Westhoff, PC, is a full-service family law firm, and our attorneys are experienced in all areas of mediation, negotiations, and litigation.

Reach out to us today in Broomfield to schedule your confidential consultation.