Is Colorado a Mom or Dad State?

Is Colorado a Mom or Dad State?One of the biggest fears of a divorcing or separating parent is losing child custody due to the judge’s bias towards the other parent. Some worry that the court automatically favors mothers over fathers in custody cases. However, this is now simply a myth. Colorado is neither a “mom state” nor a “dad state” when deciding on child custody. It’s also not an “automatic 50-50 parenting time state.” Here’s how it works.

For legal advice on your specific situation, consult a trusted child custody attorney.

Is Colorado a Mom State? Do Moms Always Win Child Custody?

The idea that the court always gives child custody to the mother is merely a persisting misconception. In Colorado, the court is gender-neutral when allocating parental responsibilities. Legal fathers have equal rights as legal mothers to fight for custody of their child.

However, the reality is that physical custody (where the child gets to reside) is granted to mothers more often than to fathers. There are various reasons for this, such as:

  • Unmarried parents. If the child’s parents are unwed, the mom is presumed to be the only legal parent and thus gets child custody by default. On the other hand, the unmarried dad has to establish his legal parentage by proving paternity. Once he is recognized as a legal parent, he can then seek custody of the child.
  • Child-rearing responsibility. The judge takes into account various factors in determining child custody, all while aiming for the child’s best interests. One major factor they consider is which parent has been more active in raising the child. In many families, it is the mother who is more hands-on in child-rearing, hence she gains an advantage when convincing the judge that she is the suitable custodial parent.

Though these situations exist, a legal father is not automatically on the losing side of a child custody case. If he can show the court that he has been a responsible parent and can properly raise the child, he will have a fighting chance to get child custody.

Is Colorado a 50-50 State in Child Custody?

The main standard of the court in child custody cases is the “best interests of the child.” Courts usually grant joint custody to moms and dads because the prevailing belief is that a child will grow up best in the care of both parents. However, this doesn’t always mean equal parenting time and responsibilities between parents. Specific circumstances sometimes call for flexibility, hence Colorado is not an automatic “50-50 state” when granting child custody.

For example, if a 50-50 schedule entails too much traveling time for the child as they shuttle between parents, it can cause them more stress and less stability. The judge may decide instead that the child will primarily reside with the parent living closer to the child’s school, with adequate visitation granted to the other parent..

Another example is if one parent’s working schedule leaves them with less time to spend on the child. All other factors being equal, the judge may give more parenting time to the parent with more availability.

Factors in Determining Colorado Child Custody

Child custody in Colorado is determined on a case-by-case basis. Each judge carefully weighs the circumstances for each child, and will use their discretion to allocate parental rights and responsibilities between parents to uphold the child’s best interests. Among the factors that the court has to take account are:

  • The child’s relationship with each parent
  • The adjustment that the child may have to make at home, school, and community
  • The distance between the parents’ homes
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to allow a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Each parent’s past involvement with the child
  • Each parent’s ability to prioritize the child’s needs.

Again, the gender of parents is not a factor in child custody determination. Whether you’re the mom or dad, you can bolster your fight for child custody by using the factors above as your guide to persuade the court that you are well-suited to raise your child. If you have concerns about your particular custody case, don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced Family Law attorney.

Call an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Colorado

The child custody lawyers at Goldman Law have more than 25 years of combined experience handling complex family matters. Our attorneys are not only highly skilled in navigating Colorado Family Law, they’re also sensitive to family dynamics and protective of their clients’ rights. This is why our firm has won favorable results for many clients and earned top ratings in the field of Family Law.

Talk to us about your child custody situation. Call Goldman Law today at (303) 656-9529.