When parents decide to divorce in Colorado, the biggest concern is usually what will happen with the children. Historically, parents have been willing to battle in court in the hopes of securing primary or sole custody. The Colorado court system, however, does not prefer sole custody arrangements except in extreme cases.
Generally speaking, they prefer to arrange for a more even allocation of parental rights and responsibilities during a divorce with minor children. In other words, Colorado courts prefer to establish shared custody arrangements, a situation which is also referred to as co-parenting. Understanding that this is beneficial for your children may help you embrace the idea that shared custody is the most likely resolution to your divorce proceedings.
Shared parental responsibilities mean finding common ground
Co-parenting after a divorce is a challenging proposition for many. After all, you wouldn't be seeking a divorce if you and your ex had a healthy and positive relationship. However, it is critical that you find a way to work together for the benefit of your children.
After all, you will need to interact several times a week until your children become adults. Even after that, you can expect to see one another at major family events, ranging from weddings to birthdays. You can start working toward a healthy co-parenting relationship even while your divorce is still going through the courts.
Do your best to shield your children from any arguments between you and your ex. Although you may have strong opinions about the behavior of your former spouse, your children do not need to hear it from you.
Instead, try to remain positive and encouraging when it comes to your children's relationship with your former spouse. Doing that will make the divorce process easier on the children.
The courts may still consider sole custody scenarios in extreme situations
If you have reason to believe that your ex is too unstable, violent or otherwise dangerous for your children, it may still be possible to seek sole custody of your children in a Colorado divorce. You will need documentation or evidence related to your ex's questionable behavior.
Whether it is a medical report confirming frequent illegal drug or alcohol abuse, or police records of calls to report spousal or child abuse, you will need authoritative evidence if you ask the courts to allocate sole custody to you.
Barring those extreme scenarios, most other divorcing couples can anticipate shared custody as the eventual outcome to their divorce. You may want to discuss your situation with an attorney to determine whether seeking sole custody is a viable option in your family's situation.