A father’s rights in Colorado are equal to the rights of a mother, in the sense that the courts determine parental responsibility (also known as custody) on the basis of what is best for the child. They take into consideration factors such as which parent the child prefers, where the child lives, what responsibilities each parent can manage, and so on.
In ideal cases, Colorado courts let parents decide amongst themselves how to raise their child together, through a jointly-written and signed parenting plan. The court reviews these plans, and either enforces or changes them, based on factors like geographical distance between both parents.
If you, as the father of your child, cannot come to an agreement with the mother on how to raise your child together, then the courts will intervene. They will decide on how to award parental responsibility based on the child’s best interests. There is a growing number of fathers that get sole custody.
But courts do favor shared or joint custody. Recent research also shows this is what’s best for a child in general. Children in shared-parenting families had better outcomes than children in sole physical custody families, using factors such as behavioral problems, academic achievements, emotional health, and more.
Shared parenting is not always an option, of course. It’s important to know what your rights are as a father, so you can step in and seek legal defense if your ability to raise and be with your child is threatened or unfairly compromised by the mother.