Colorado family law uses the term “parental responsibility” instead of custody. Parental responsibility here also includes visitation rights (called “parenting time”). In the state of Colorado, the courts decide parental responsibility on several factors. This includes a parent’s ability to care for his/her child, arrangements the parents have made together, and the child’s own preferences. Yet above all, it’s the child’s best interests that matters most. The courts do not award parental responsibilities based on gender in Colorado child custody cases.
Judges in Colorado prefer that parents share the parental responsibilities of making important decisions, especially around issues such as education and upbringing. These issues are usually referred to as legal custody. However, 50/50 or joint custody can be difficult to implement in certain cases, especially those where parents disagree on major issues. Often, one parent has physical custody of a child, while the other receives visitation rights/parenting time. While joint custody is a rising trend, sole custody is still more common. In cases where parents cannot agree on a parenting time plan, a judge must make a ruling on how to split parental responsibility.