Child Custody & Child Support

Child Custody is Now Known as “Allocation of Parental Responsibility” in Colorado

When children are part of a divorce proceeding, it’s crucial to have an experienced Denver child custody lawyer to help secure a financial outcome for them that is advantageous, as well as to help craft a situation that will suit them emotionally. In the state of Colorado, the legislature took the significant step of changing the law in order to clarify that the central goal of determining custody arrangements is to ensure that parents take responsibility for their children. Because the term “custody” can lend itself to the perception of a property right rather than a parental duty, the terms “allocation of parental responsibility” and “allocation of decision-making responsibility” have officially replaced the term “child custody.” This new language is intended to emphasize the duties of the parents to cooperate, share, or divide the responsibilities of raising a child, including making decisions involving education, health, religious upbringing, and other discrete areas. In addition to this wording change, the legislature also made changes to the terms “legal” child custody and “residential” child custody: Whereas legal custody once referred to decision-making and residential custody referred to where the child lived, residential child custody and visitation are now referred to as “parenting time.”

Divorce raises delicate, emotionally-charged issues for parents and children alike, and compassionate resolution is needed to create custody arrangements and parenting plans that minimize, rather than aggravate, the potential for negative impact on the children and the parent-child relationships. The Denver child custody attorneys at Decker & Jones develop child-related arrangements that are realistic, promote a healthy relationship with both parents, and that work.

Child Support is the Right of the Child

The state of Colorado holds parents responsible for providing child support until a child is emancipated. The formula used to calculate child support, known as “Child Support Guidelines,” is based on what would have been spent for the child if the parents had not separated. The child’s age, needs, number of visits with each parent, as well as the parents’ combined gross income, are all considered when calculating child support. In 2003, new laws became effective that include adjustments for low income, very low income, and extraordinary medical expenses when calculating child support. In addition, these adjustments also take into account the change in the Federal Child Care Credit.

Once child support has been calculated and ordered, changes in circumstances could arise that justify modification of the existing child support agreement. For example, if spousal support has been terminated or if the parent is in a position to pay more, a change may be warranted. Also, if you are not receiving child support payments in Denver, legal action may be needed to address the situation. The state of Colorado takes the obligation of a parent to provide support to their child very seriously, and so do the Denver child support attorneys at Decker & Jones. By the same token, if you are being taken to court for an amount of child support that is unreasonable, you will also require legal guidance and protection.

Call a Denver Child Support Attorney or Child Custody Lawyer Today!

Decker & Jones provides representation to ensure that the well-being of the children in the present and the future always takes priority when matters of child support are involved. Please do not hesitate to contact our seasoned, caring Denver child support Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your options, and to get answers to all your child support questions. Likewise, our Denver child custody attorneys are standing by to provide you with the support you need throughout this process. To contact us, you can either fill out this simple online contact form, or you can call our Denver or Golden offices today at 303 279 1586.