For most fathers getting a divorce, the number one concern is maintaining a close relationship with their children. Many fathers believe the odds are stacked against them. They believe the mother will automatically get the kids and the best he can hope for is a few weekends a month.
Legally, justice is “blind”. The law in Colorado does not favor mothers over fathers. However, decisions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities are ultimately made by humans. A judge's prejudices can find their way into the rulings. A stay-at- home mother often has the upper hand, but the father can fight that bias — and win.
If you are a father fighting for equal time with your children and the ability to make decisions for your children you are the underdog. But with a Denver allocation of parental responsibilities lawyer who fights for fathers and has experience overcoming the prejudices against them, your chances will be vastly improved. Sharon Liko is a family attorney who stands up for the rights of men in allocation of parental responsibilities (formerly child custody) battles.
You can have a skilled, aggressive attorney on your side who understands the unique challenges fathers face in parental responsibilities (formerly child custody) matters. Call Sharon D. Liko, P.C. today at (303) 534-4888 to set up a consultation.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Sharon Liko serves clients across Colorado, including Denver, Boulder, Arapahoe, Douglas, Jefferson, and Broomfield counties. She is also licensed to practice in Texas.
In 1998, Colorado abolished the term custody as it relates to child issues. Following a concept developed in the UK, Colorado decided to make the issues regarding “custody” more user friendly by eliminating the labels which carried an implied stigma. The “custodial” parent was generally deemed to be the winner, and the parent who only got “visitation” was deemed to be the loser.
The legislature didn’t want children viewed as property to be awarded to one parent over the other. Thus, Colorado created new statutes regarding the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities, or “APR”. In an APR case, the courts must determine two aspects regarding minor children. The courts must award decision making responsibilities and parenting time between the parents.
Decision making refers to the right to make major decisions concerning children such as where they go to school, what religion they will be raised, non-emergency medical decisions and extracurricular activities.. Colorado law refers to this as "decision-making responsibilities."
The court can award either joint decision making or sole decision making. With joint decision making both parents jointly make major decisions. With sole decision making only one parent may make decisions. The types of decisions that parents are able to make can also be divided between the parents. For instance, the court may decide that educational decisions must be made jointly, but one of the parents has control over religious decisions.
Parenting time pertains to the time each parent has actual physical control of the child. Parenting time encompasses the following arrangements:
Parenting time is allocated separately than decision-making responsibilities, although if a parent has sole decision-making authority, it is very likely that the child will spend more time with that parent.
Barring factors like child abuse or domestic violence, each parent will generally be entitled to a reasonable amount of parenting time. What constitutes “reasonable” depends on the facts of your case. The amount of overnights is a factor in the determination of child support.
During APR proceedings, the court may make a temporary order to allocate decision making and parenting time, after which it will enter a permanent order.
When entering orders concerning allocation of parental responsibilities the judge is required to consider the child’s “best interests.” Generally, it is in the child's best interests for the child to spend some time with each parent.
Judges mustconsider all "relevant factors" when allocating parenting time. As set forth under C.R.S. §14-10-124, those factors include:
When making a determination, the court is likely to favor consistency. For instance, if parents in Denver are divorcing and the father plans to move to Boulder and the mother plans to stay in the same home in Denver, where the child could attend the same school he has attended, the judge may be likely to award the mother parenting time on weekdays during the school year.
When it comes to children judges try to cause as little disruption as possible to their lives and schedules. If you are a father and you know divorce is in the works, there are some things you can do to make it more likely that you will have equal time with your children and have joint decision making:.
If your schedule is such that you travel or work long hours and cannot participate in the aforementioned activities, do what you can. The courts have come a long way, and recognize that as the primary breadwinner, a lot of fathers are physically unable to participate as much as they would like.
Participate as much as you can. If you can’t be physically present, call the teachers, day care providers and coaches. Stay in touch online or via email. Do homework with your kid or read them bedtime stories over the phone. Use Skype so that your child can see you when you talk to them.
Technology has made it possible to stay involved even if you are thousands of miles away. Use it!
Of course, it is of extraordinary importance to have an aggressive attorney on your side that understands the legal issues fathers face and who will fight for you to have equal care regarding your kids.
Child support is established pursuant to the Colorado Child Support Guidelines. Child support is a fixed monthly amount. Child support is determined based on a number of criteria, including the following:
If you have physical care of the child for 93 or more overnights per year, child support is calculated using a different worksheet which factors in a credit reducing the amount of child support.
If you are a father facing critical parental responsibilities (formerly known as a custody battle), you can have an aggressive, experienced Colorado parental responsibilities (custody) lawyer fighting for you.
Sharon Liko is a men's rights attorney who represents fathers seeking rightful parental responsibilities of their sons and daughters. A skilled representative in Colorado courts can make the difference between whether you're the one tucking your kids in at night or the one who sees them once a month of less. Call Sharon D. Liko, P.C. today at (303) 534-4888 to set up a consultation.