As an El Paso County Family Law Attorney, one of the main questions I get asked by potential clients is, “Why should I file for child custody?” This article will address some of the reasons why a parent would file for child custody or allocation of parental responsibilities in Colorado.
A Child Custody Order Provides Protection
A Colorado Child Custody Order can define parenting time and visitation for both parents. Additionally, it can describe how holiday and vacation parenting will work. I think that a well written parenting plan can be a default for parties that have disagreements about child custody to refer back to. Further, a court order can protect a party from being taken advantage of by another party that just wants to “do things their own way”. If a party violates a court order, then the other party may seek legal action against them like a contempt.
A Child Custody OrderCan Keep Disagreements About Parenting Boring
I tell my clients that I am a boring guy. I like my boring life because I am not in Court fighting all the time. I believe that a well-crafted child custody plan can truly help deescalate tense situations related to parenting time and decision making.
For example, if Father want an extra dinner visit with the children during the week, but Mother does not want Father to have the visit, both parties can just check the parenting plan and see if Father is scheduled for an extra dinner visit. This way, Mother is not the one saying “no” to the visit, but the one following Court Order. Don’t get me wrong, if Father and Mother are getting along well and make the decision and agree that Father can have the visit, then that is great. What I am describing is a situation where the parties are not seeing eye to eye.
Filing for Child Custody Establishes Guidelines For Both Parties
When a parent files for child custody in the State of Colorado, certain rules go into place for both parents upon filing. These initial rules are called the “automatic temporary injunction”. One important rule from the temporary injunction is that the children cannot leave the State of Colorado without written consent of the other parent or further Court Order.
If the parties do not have a parenting plan in place through the courts or have a child case filed, then either party may leave the State of Colorado with the children as there are no Court Orders in place defining such activity.
In my opinion, by filing for child custody a party can establish guidelines related to parenting time and decision making, the child custody order can provide protections to both parents and the children, and a well drafted parenting plan can deescalate areas of conflict between the parents.
If you have questions about child custody or how to file your child custody case please contact the lawyers at Springs Law Group. Springs Law Group offers a free consultation for your Family Law and Personal Injury matters.
Christopher Nicolaysen is a Family law Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from Denver Sturm College of Law, and has been practicing law for several years now. Christopher Nicolaysen is passionate about helping you solve your family matters. Learn more about his experience here.