Children do not understand what divorce is. All they know is that they will not have both of their parents living with them at all times. The relationship between you and your former spouse might be difficult.
These arguments do not help your child, so you and the judge will have to find a solution that meets your children’s emotional needs.
Your children need both of you
As children grow and develop, they benefit psychologically and emotionally from their relationships with both of you. If you cannot decide custody, the court will, considering the needs of the children.
The court is responsible for determining the custody and visitation arrangements for children whose parents have divorced. In Colorado, courts consider:
- Both parents’ ability to take care of the children
- The children’s emotional needs and wishes
- The wishes of each parent
- The necessity of the children to change schools
Co-parenting allows your child to have both parents in their lives
Judges and courts in Colorado do not automatically choose the children’s mother as the primary custodian. Instead, they are more likely to split parenting responsibilities, giving this to both parents.
In families where the mother travels frequently or is a member of the military, a judge might decide to award primary custody to the father, whose job does not require travel — as long as he is able to care for the children.
Give your child what they need, with co-parenting or parallel parenting
Are you and your former spouse able to work together for your children’s needs? If you are, co-parenting could be a good arrangement. This means you share the parenting and jointly make decisions about the children.
In parallel parenting, you are not required to communicate with your former spouse. This can work for parents who need a “firewall” between them.