What does the court look at when determining custody and visitation in Colorado?

Colorado law now uses the terms allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time to refer to the traditional concepts of child custody and visitation. The underlying principles are generally the same, so:

  • Courts generally favor joint custody, so that both parents share in decision-making on the important aspects of raising the child.
  • Even with joint custody, the child will primarily reside with one parent for convenience and practical purposes.
  • The non-residential parent can exercise visitation rights, i.e., parenting time. This person will usually also be required to pay child support.
  • In situations involving abuse, domestic violence, or other misconduct, a judge may award sole custody and/or supervised visitation.