Colorado has moved away from the term "child custody." It is now called "parental responsibilities." Under Colorado's parental responsibility laws, decisions are made about who the child lives with, visitation time and who makes major decisions for the child. The court will often order parents to share time with the child, and to share the legal responsibilities for the child. Each case is different, and it will not always be a 50/50 split in time and responsibilities.
It is not unusual for the court to award one parent sole physical custody or primary parental responsibilities. But still providing the other parent with visitation and time with the child. Each case is unique and must be decided on its specific factual situation.
On rare occasions, the court will grant one parent sole physical custody and parental responsibilities. This is done where there is a serious danger to the child.
Note that once the divorce petition is filed, neither parent can take the children out of state without the other parent's permission or a court order.
Best Interests of the Child (It is all about the kids!)
The court determines parental responsibilities based on the best interests of the child. The court considers many factors in determining what is best for the child. This includes the parents wishes as well as the child's. The court will consider the wishes of the child, but the court also remains aware of the maturity level of the child and takes that into account when considering the child's wishes.
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For more about divorce in general, please see our frequently asked questions page.