Navigating Child Custody Disputes: A Guide for Parents

Posted by Casey Alexander | Mar 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

Navigating a child custody dispute can prove to be one of the most difficult things for any Colorado parent to endure. For many parents, their children are everything. Because of this, a child custody dispute may feel like the most high-stakes issue you have ever dealt with. While it is easy to get emotional about the prospect of spending less time with your kids (or no time at all), it is important to approach this dispute in a professional, calm, and effective manner. Work with a qualified custody lawyer in Loveland, and you can pursue positive results. What exactly do parents need to know about child custody disputes in Colorado?

It Makes Sense to Avoid Litigation if Possible

The first thing you should know is that it often makes sense to avoid these disputes altogether. A child custody dispute can be a long, arduous, and expensive process. Even worse, it may be particularly difficult for children to endure. Child psychologists around the nation have determined that mental health issues are often less severe for kids when divorcing parents take a more cooperative approach to custody disagreements. 

Note that a few disagreements about custody do not necessarily lead to a trial in court. It is only when you cannot work out these issues behind closed doors that litigation becomes inevitable. Fortunately, there are many ways in which parents can attempt to negotiate a viable custody plan without ever going to court. Your custody lawyers can represent you during these negotiations, and you can even get advice from an independent child psychologist to determine the best plan for your unique family. 

In fact, you might not even have a say in the matter – as Colorado family courts often force parents to go through mediation before a custody trial. The exact process may depend on the circumstances of your family, and different family court judges may have different ideas about when mediation is necessary. With all that said, mediation may be a genuinely positive process that saves you from time-consuming, expensive trials. Fortunately, your family law attorney can represent you during these mediations – ensuring that you are treated fairly by mediators. 

If mediation fails, a trial may be necessary. In these cases, your lawyer will continue to represent you – but in court rather than behind closed doors. Both sides will have a chance to tell their side of the story, and the family court will ultimately decide on the best custody plan. Note that this process can be somewhat unpredictable. 

Understanding How the Court Determines Your Child's Best Interests

Assuming you proceed to a custody trial, how might the family courts view your situation? The most important thing to remember in this situation is that your own personal needs and wants are essentially inconsequential. When it comes to child custody, the family courts focus entirely on the child's best interests. Fortunately, family courts in Colorado have outlined the specific factors they will consider when determining a child's best interests. If you base your case around these factors, you can efficiently prepare for your custody trial. 

These factors include:

  • Domestic violence against any household member (including animals)

  • The wishes of the child (if they are sufficiently mature)

  • Existing family ties

  • The child's ties to their school, community, and residence

  • Mental and physical health of the entire family

  • Whether one parent interferes with the other parent's relationship with the child

  • Physical proximity of residences

  • Child abuse

  • Child neglect

  • The ability of each parent to prioritize the child's needs

  • Levels of cooperation between parents

Note that there are other factors to consider, and you may wish to discuss the full list of these factors alongside a qualified custody attorney in Colorado. 

Things to Avoid During Custody Disputes in Colorado

It is important to avoid certain behaviors and actions during custody disputes in Colorado. First of all, it is often detrimental to place your child in a situation where they feel that they have to choose between parents. This puts much more stress on the child in an already turbulent situation – and it may affect your chances of a positive custody outcome.

It is also a good idea to avoid posting on social media during the custody dispute. Although it might seem extreme to completely cut yourself off from social media during this entire process, most lawyers recommend it. This is because everything you post on social media can be used against you in court – often in ways that you may not understand or expect. A seemingly innocent post could form the basis for a legal argument against you. 

Avoid spreading any rumors about your ex during the custody dispute. Even if these rumors are true, they are best explored within the confines of a courtroom rather than in public. In fact, publicly insulting your spouse could backfire on you, and you could experience negative custody consequences as a result. Despite what you may think about your spouse, it is best to communicate with them in a calm, cordial, and professional manner. Remember, family courts will consider your ability to cooperate effectively with your ex when awarding custody. 

It is Possible to Modify an Existing Child Custody Order

You should also know that it is possible to modify an existing custody order. Even if you walk away from a custody trial with an unfavorable result, you can return to this situation at a later date and pursue more positive outcomes. To determine whether you might be able to modify a child custody order, speak with a legal professional today. 

Find a Qualified Custody Lawyer in Loveland

If you have been searching for an experienced child custody attorney in Loveland, look no further than Casey James Alexander. Over the years, we have helped numerous parents throughout Colorado – and we know how difficult child custody disputes can be. If alternative dispute resolution methods are possible, we can guide you through mediation and negotiations. If these alternative methods prove impossible, we can also guide you through litigation in court. With our help, you can strive for your child's best interests and fight for your parental rights. Book a consultation today to determine the most appropriate legal steps based on your unique situation.

About the Author

Casey Alexander

  YOUR ATTORNEY CASEY ALEXANDER Founding Attorney Prior to becoming an attorney Casey served in the United States Navy.  Now he serves the people of Northern Colorado and advocates for their legal needs. Bar Admissions Colorado PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS 01 Larimer County Bar ...


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