Talk to a Colorado Child Custody Lawyer in Frisco, CO

Carlson, Edwards, and O’Connor is a team of family law attorneys where you will always find a skilled and dedicated child custody lawyer to help you make the best decision in your children’s interests.

Will I get to spend time with my children? How can I make sure my rights as a parent are protected? These are the questions every divorce lawyer at our child custody law firm hears from all the clients.

Without a doubt, your children are your first priority when going through a divorce and child custody mediation. Fortunately, Colorado law is focused on this as well. It operates under the presumption that a child fares better when both parents are involved in his or her upbringing. There are exceptions to this, which your child custody lawyer will explain to you, for instance, if a negligent parent could do harm to a child. Overall, the goal is to create a stable upbringing for the child post-divorce. 

As Summit County family lawyers, we, at Carlson, Edwards, and O'Connor Attorneys-at-Law, P.C., aim to provide our clients with the advocacy, legal knowledge, and support they need from their child custody attorney to protect their rights. Your family custody lawyer will also assist in mediation as well, providing the level-headedness required for making fair, favorable decisions for all parties involved. Our experience in a wide range of legal disciplines has given us a teamwork mentality that anticipates issues and addresses them before they arise.   

A lawyer for child custody will fight for your parental rights while standing your child’s interests

Schedule an initial legal consultation on mother’s and father’s rights by reaching us online or by telephone at 970-668-1678

A Focus on Family from an Experienced Lawyer for Child Custody

Colorado has technically changed the legal term for typical child custody rights to "parental responsibilities and parental duties” – see the legal text here. "Visitation" has also been replaced with the term "parenting time" in an effort to balance out childcare responsibilities between mothers and fathers. The child custody lawyer will tell you that even if a child has a primary residence with one parent, his or her parents may share parenting responsibilities equally in joint custody arrangements. 

Determining child custody rights such as a primary residence for a child and adequate parenting time agreements can be contentious in some cases. How and when a child moves between households must be clearly detailed, even if parents are working together to find a solution. Life continues to change long after a divorce is final, which is why it is crucial you work with a child custody attorney during a divorce to can anticipate what might happen in the future so that it may be considered today. 

Understanding Child Custody Rights/Parenting Time

A vast majority of marriages in the United States produce children. It is our philosophy that the well-being of your children is the most important issue in your divorce case. The legal standard applied to decisions about children is the “best interest of the child” standard. This standard is defined by statute C.R.S. 14-10-124

The basic assumption is that absent some physical or mental problem both parents are presumed to have an equal ability to raise their children. The statute refers to this as “parenting” and the time your children spend with you “parenting time.” Every case with children is required to have a written “Parenting Plan” filed with the Court by the child custody attorney at the time of the conclusion of the case. 

Actually, Colorado is one of three states to eliminate the term custody from its divorce laws, although we still use the term “child custody rights” and “child custody agreement” when talking to clients. The psychologists and social workers convinced the Colorado Legislature that the old system treated children as property and contributed to fights over custody. They convinced the legislature that adopting a system created in the State of Washington consisting of “parental responsibilities” and “parental rights” set out in a parenting plan was a better approach.

Hire an experienced family custody lawyer to avoid emotionally traumatizing custody disputes

The Court will look at the “best interest of the child” standard to fashion a parenting time in collaboration with the lawyer for child custody. The statute requires the Court to look at certain “factors,” review the facts of your case in light of the standards established by these factors and make an overall conclusion on the totality of the circumstances of that evaluation. The factors are: 

  • The wishes of the child’s parents as to parenting time; 
  • The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule; 
  • The interaction and relationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests; 
  • The child’s adjustment to his or her home, school and community; 
  • The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time. 
  • The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party; except that if the court determines that a party is acting to protect the child from witnessing domestic violence or from being a victim of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, the party’s protective actions shall not be considered with respect to this factor.  
  • Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support; 
  • The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time; 
  • Repealed 
  • The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs. 

Custody Disputes

Courts strongly encourage parties to reach reasonable agreements as to parenting time. Unfortunately, despite the child custody lawyer’s best efforts, this is not always possible, and Courts are asked by the parties to make decisions based upon the above criteria. The Court will often enlist specialists to perform an independent investigation. These include Child Family Investigators (CFI)s or Parental Responsibility Evaluators (PRE)s or order full Child Custody Evaluations by a Psychiatrist/Psychologist or Social Worker. The Court requires the parties to supply funds to pay for these experts. CFI’s and PRE’s charge professional hourly rates that are equivalent to those of lawyers and accountants. Because this can be costly, the Colorado Supreme Court has imposed caps on the fees which a CFI may charge. There is no cap on PREs and other professionals. In the case of Parenting Time disputes, the Court may appoint a Parenting Time Coordinator or Parenting Time Decision Maker. This is why child custody mediation is so important.

What Do Child Custody Lawyers Do?

A family law attorney focuses on mediation and the child’s rights and best interests. There are many instances when you need an experienced child custody rights attorney – for unmarried parents, cases of potential child abduction (detailed in the Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14 Ch. 205).

The role of the lawyer is to conduct the mediation with the other parent’s attorney and create a viable parenting time plan that will be acceptable to the court. The child custody attorney may draft a letter setting out the Parenting Plan  - the result of the understandings between parents and present it in court during the final hearings to set parental responsibilities.

A child custody attorney uses experience, knowledge of law and compassion in every case they handle

Types of Child Custody in Colorado

As we explained above, Colorado does not focus on sole or joint custody, but on arrangements that work in the best interest of the child. The role of your child custody lawyer is to make sure that your wishes and rights are protected, and you can participate in raising your child in a meaningful way.

Of course, mediation to determine child custody rights does not always go smoothly. This is why you need representation by an experienced child custody law firm. At Carlson, Edwards, and O’Connor, we put your child’s interests first and use our best judgment and knowledge of the law to see that you get your legal parenting rights.

How to Get Full Custody in Colorado?

There are situations when limited contact with a parent may be in the child’s best interests. It is usually the case of parents who attempt to abduct children during the divorce procedure. Colorado’s legal stance on this aspect of child custody rights is clear: such action shall not be tolerated. Law enforcement authorities are mandated to arrest an abducting parent and their rights to parenting time may be forfeited (this does not exclude the obligation to pay child support).

Questions to Ask a Child Custody Lawyer

When you contact a family law attorney to discuss child custody rights, focus on the following:

  • What does the law say in terms of mother’s or father’s rights to parenting time?
  • What is your experience in child custody and support cases?
  • What can I do to protect my right and avoid making mistakes?

An experienced child custody lawyer will give you advice and guidance to make sure that you are not breaking any laws and are not doing anything that may jeopardize your rights in terms of parental responsibilities.

Get in Touch with Our Child Custody Lawyer Today

Going through a divorce is a stressful situation from every point of view, including the financial one. However, hiring the right child custody lawyer is not something you want to leave to chance or to the lowest price. Your future child custody rights and even the amount of child support you ought to receive are being determined in this final part of your divorce procedure.

At Carlson, Edwards, and O’Connor, we are always focused on offering you the best legal advice and fair fees. We have decades of combined experience and are dedicated to fighting on your behalf. Our child custody law firm serves the following areas and beyond:

  • Frisco, CO 
  • Eagle County, CO 
  • Edwards, CO 
  • Avon, CO 

Call 970-668-1678 to schedule a consultation with an experienced child custody attorney!

What Our Clients Say

  • Lauren Butler
    I have known and worked with Courtney for years. In all my experiences with her, she has never been anything but professional, kind, and intelligent. She's always the most prepared and well-researched person in the room and is therefore generally one...
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    Courtney Edwards was a pleasure to work with. In fact, everyone in the company was so helpful in helping my parents prepare their wills. It can be a dark topic but they were professional and kind.

Get in Touch with Our High Country Law Firm Today!

If you have legal issues or questions, call us today. Our attorneys provide consultations to inform you about the law and will explain what we can do for you, if you decide you need an attorney to assist with your case.
  • Summit County Office

    975 North Ten Mile Drive, P.O. Box 1829
    Frisco, CO80443
  • Eagle County Office

    56 Edwards Village Blvd. Unit 121, Suite 1
    Edwards, CO81632