In Colorado, “parenting time” refers to the time that a child spends with each parent, or other guardian, after a separation, divorce, or legal separation. It is the equivalent of visitation or custody time in other jurisdictions. Parenting time arrangements are determined based on the best interests of the child, with the primary goal of promoting a healthy and nurturing relationship between the child and both parents.
Colorado encourages shared parenting and believes that both parents should have frequent and meaningful contact with their child, unless it is determined that such contact would not be in the child’s best interests due to safety concerns or other extenuating circumstances. The state’s laws emphasize the importance of both parents’ involvement in their child’s life, even if one parent is designated as the primary residential custodian.
When determining parenting time arrangements, Colorado courts consider a range of factors, including:
The court evaluates what parenting time arrangement would be most beneficial for the child’s overall well-being, taking into account their physical, emotional, and developmental needs.
Child’s relationship with each parent:
The court considers the nature and quality of the child’s relationship with each parent, as well as their ability to support the child’s emotional and social development.
Parents’ ability to cooperate:
The court assesses the ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate effectively in matters related to the child’s upbringing. A willingness to facilitate a positive relationship between the child and the other parent is considered favorable.
The court reviews any proposed parenting plans submitted by the parents, which outline the proposed schedule for parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, and other relevant details.
If the child is mature enough to express their preferences, the court may take those preferences into consideration, although the weight given to the child’s wishes will depend on their age, maturity, and ability to understand the situation.
Colorado encourages parents to create their own parenting plan through mediation or negotiation. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court will make a determination based on the best interests of the child. The court may consider input from professionals such as child psychologists or family counselors to assist in making informed decisions.
It’s important to note that Colorado’s laws and guidelines regarding parenting time may evolve or be subject to interpretation, so consulting with an attorney or legal professional specializing in family law in Colorado is advisable for accurate assessment of your case.