Denver Child Custody

Restructuring Families in Divorce

When children are placed in the middle of a divorce, legal relationships and emotional bonds are at stake. As a family law attorney in Denver, my clients depend on me to help them create a comprehensive parenting plan that protects their relationship with their children.

Understanding Parenting Time

Colorado uses the term parenting plan to determine decision-making and parenting time instead of child custody and visitation. Rather than custody, each parent has parenting time, which is spelled out in the parenting plan. The decision-making in the areas of medical, education, and religion can be joint or allocated to either parent.

A parenting plan is divided into two sections:

  • Decision-making for major issues such as medical care, religious upbringing and education. While the parent with the child makes decisions on everyday issues, both parents jointly make decisions on topics such as those mentioned above and issues like extracurricular activities, driving, tattoos and piercings, and so on.
  • Parenting time, which is described in terms of overnight visits, evening visits, holidays, school breaks and summer vacations.

While each parent has parenting time, one is usually the majority-time parent. A shared parenting plan (one in which the non-majority-time parent has the child more than 92 overnight visits a year) can only work when the parents have the ability to get along, live close to each other and have similar parenting styles. In most cases, there will be a majority parenting time parent. In some cases, the parenting time will be approximately equal between the parents.

The number of overnight visits each parent has can be a highly contested issue in divorce, in part because it can affect the amount of child support the non-majority-time parent is required to pay. As your lawyer, my goal is to create a parenting plan that places your child's interests first and ensures that the majority-time parent receives enough money to support your child adequately. Parenting time should not be based on an expectation to lower child support as normally happens when the overnights change from 92 to 93 per year.

Learn more about child custody and visitation:

Continuity in parenting between households

Child support

Working with families in divorce

Post-divorce decree modifications

For more information or to schedule an attorney consultation about child custody: call 303-427-5581 or complete the contact form on this site. My law office is located near the Pecos Street exit of the Denver-Boulder Turnpike.