In every Colorado action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or allocation of parental responsibilities (if not married) where a child was born of the relationship, Colorado courts must consider the "best interests of the child" before issuing orders regarding parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. The factors the court shall consider are listed in section 14-10-124 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. Colorado family law is gender-neutral, which means each parent has an equal opportunity of obtaining parenting time with the child(ren). However, if there are safety concerns such as domestic abuse, neglect, or substance abuse, such issues need to be appropriately presented to the court to ensure a parenting time order which is in the best interests of the children.
It's easy for parents to get caught up in a battle but it is important to remember that Children are not property. The standard is for the best interests of the children, not the parents. Colorado divorce courts are increasingly granting equal parenting time for each parent, particularly when children are of school age and there are no safety concerns in either home.
Generally under Colorado family law, most parents share decision-making responsibilities over the children. This means that neither parent can unilaterally make major decisions for the children without agreement of the other parent. Joint decision-making works best when the parents share similar values, and it if they can communicate on child related issues.
Colorado child custody law define major decisions as those affecting health, education, religion, and extra-curricular. With Joint decision-making, don't plan on moving schoold, changing religion, starting mental health therapy, or having a child undergo elective surgery without the consent of the other parent.
Colorado family law guarantees the rights of parents to obtain medical, school, and other records. But without knowing who is providing services to the children, this right can be difficult to enforce. It is important to hire an attorney who can incorporate this into a well-written parenting plan which will help enforce your rights.
There are a lot of factors that can effect you getting your desired outcome at trial. Hire an experienced litigator who can help plan your case and what information to present at trial so you have the best chance at getting what you are looking for.