A parenting plan in Colorado is a legally binding document that outlines how parents will share parenting responsibilities and make decisions regarding their children after a divorce, separation, or when unmarried parents separate. The plan focuses on the best interests of the children involved and provides a framework for co-parenting and ensuring the children’s well-being. Here are some key elements typically included in a parenting plan in Colorado:
The plan will specify how parental responsibilities are divided between the parents, including decision-making authority regarding the children’s education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. It may outline joint decision-making or designate one parent as having final decision-making authority in certain areas.
Parenting Time (Visitation):
The parenting plan will establish a schedule for when the children will spend time with each parent. It will outline regular parenting time, including weekdays, weekends, holidays, birthdays, vacations, and summer breaks. The plan should address transportation arrangements and any specific considerations or limitations.
If the children will primarily reside with one parent, the parenting plan will outline the primary residential custody arrangement. It may also specify how and when the children will have contact with the other parent.
The plan will include provisions regarding communication between parents and children. It may address methods of communication (e.g., phone, email, text messages) and establish guidelines for prompt and open communication regarding the children’s well-being, school activities, and important events.
The parenting plan will often include procedures for resolving disputes or disagreements between the parents. It may require mediation or alternative dispute resolution methods before seeking court intervention.
If one parent intends to relocate, the parenting plan may outline the process for giving notice to the other parent and seeking permission or modifying the plan accordingly.
While child support is typically addressed in a separate agreement, the parenting plan may include general provisions regarding financial support for the children, including payment of medical expenses, educational expenses, and extracurricular activities.
The plan should outline the process for modifying the parenting plan in the future if circumstances change or if the existing plan is no longer in the best interests of the children.
Specific details of a parenting plan can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each family. When creating a parenting plan, it’s often advisable to seek legal advice or consult with a family law professional to ensure compliance with Colorado laws and to address the specific needs of the children and parents involved.