Family Law - Child Custody

  • Child custody, Parenting Time & Visitation

    At Aviso Law, we understand the importance of your relationship with your children and your involvement in their life. Child custody, parenting time and visitation are often sensitive and difficult matters, and it takes an emotionally intelligent and experienced family law lawyer to successfully handle them. At Aviso Law our Colorado Springs based family law attorneys are experts in child custody, parenting time and visitation, and we have the experience, skill and client-focused approach needed to make decisions that benefit you and your relationship with your children.

  • Allocation of parental responsibilities

    In Colorado custody is called the allocation of parental responsibilities. Custody battles can be the most difficult and painful part of any divorce. When determining custody the Colorado court will determine a parenting schedule based on the best interests of the child. According to C.R.S. § 14-10-124, in determining the best interests of the child for purposes of parenting time, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

    • 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 interrelationship 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;
    • The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.
  • Enforcement of parenting time & contempt

    Unfortunately even with an order from the court many individuals choose not to follow parenting time schedules and child support orders. Generally parenting time or visitation can be enforced through C.R.S. § 14-10-129.5 “motion to enforce parenting time” or through a Motion for Contempt of Court. There are several reasons or advantages to filing a motion to enforce parenting time. When and if the court finds that a parent violates a parenting time order, the court may:

    • Levy civil fines of up to $100 for each denied visit
    • Require makeup parenting time
    • Modify the parenting time orders
    • Require the posting of a bond to ensure future compliance
    • Require family counseling at the expense of the violator
    • Find the violator in contempt of court
    • Award of attorneys fees, court costs and other expenses related to the proceeding
  • Contempt

    Court orders are typically enforced through contempt proceedings. Contempt of court is governed by Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 107 and include refusal to permit or cooperate with parenting time schedule, joint decision-making, paying child support or maintenance. Aviso Law provides legal representation in both the prosecution and defense of contempt proceedings, and we pride ourselves on our thorough and effective representation in every aspect of these proceedings.

    There are two types of contempt: (1) remedial and (2) punitive.

    In order to be successful when filing a remedial contempt, one must prove:

    • A valid court order
    • Knowledge of that order
    • Failure to comply with court order
    • Ability to comply with court order

    The burden of proof for a remedial contempt is preponderance of the evidence and must be met for each element. If a party is found to be in remedial contempt, the court can make orders, award attorney fees and put the offending party in jail until the offending party complies with the order.

    Punitive contempt must prove:

    • A valid court order
    • Knowledge of that order
    • Failure to comply with court order
    • Ability to comply with court order
    • Willful refusal to do so

    The burden of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If a party is found to be in punitive contempt, the court can incarcerate the offending party for up to six months in jail.

  • Restriction of Parenting Time

    Often, parents come to the belief that the other parent’s parenting time should be restricted. In the event that the child is in imminent danger of physical or emotional harm, a parent may file a motion to restrict parenting time pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129(4). However, what the court considers “imminent danger” and what parents typically view as “imminent danger” can be different. Individuals seeking to restrict parenting time should always consult with an attorney. If the parent filing the motion to restrict parenting time does not prove at the hearing that there is an “imminent danger” to the child and the court finds that the motion was substantially frivolous, substantially groundless or substantially vexatious, the court shall require the moving party to pay the reasonable attorney fees and costs of the other party.

  • Grandparents Rights

    Not all custody battles are between mother and father. In some situations Colorado law allows grandparents of a child to seek custody. Although biological parent rights generally trump grandparent rights, grandparents do have legal options, and we, the attorneys of Aviso Law, can help you determine your rights.

  • Relocation

    Military families are always on the move, and it may be necessary to relocate. As one of the most litigated areas of family law, relocation can be a complex issue, and you should always seek the advice of a skilled family law attorney in such matters.

    When a parent seeks to relocate with the children resulting in substantial geographic ties with the other parent, and there is an existing custody or parenting order, the factors the Colorado Court considers includes:

    • Reasons why the party wishes to relocate with the child(ren);
    • Reasons why the opposing party is objecting to the proposed relocation;
    • History and quality of each party’s relationship(s) with the child(ren) since any previous court approved Parenting Plan;
    • Educational opportunities for the child(ren) at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
    • Presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
    • Advantages of the children remaining with the primary caregiver;
    • Anticipated impact of the move on the child(ren);
    • Whether the Court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the change requested is permitted; and
    • Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child(ren).

    The attorneys at Aviso Law understand first hand how military orders to move location can impact families and they also know how important it is to have a skilled military family law attorney on your side in relocation cases.