Getting Started with a Custody Case
The Court will Decide:
- The parenting time schedule.
- How important life decisions will be made for the child.
- How much the child support will be.
To make the process easier:
1st - Can You File?
When Can You File?
- No other family court case exists.
- The child must have lived in Colorado for the last 182 days.
- One of the parents must have lived in Colorado for the last 91 days.
Who May File?
- A parent to the child.
- A person other than a parent, if:
- The child is not in the physical care of a parent. Or,
- The person took physical care of the child for at least 182 days.
- The case must be started within 182 days since the care stopped.
2nd - Know the Terms
Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (APR)
- Another name for a custody case.
- Does the law grant this court the ability to decide your case.
3rd - Be Kind
Family court cases can bring out the worst in people.
Do No Harm
Try these things to avoid harming your child with a custody case:
- Do not talk badly about the other parent in front of the child.
- Do not try and harm the child's relationship with the other parent.
Understand that intense emotions make it hard to make good decisions.
- When your emotions take over, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to calm down.
- Take that time before making choices. Or,
- Wait until the next day to make those legal decisions.
- With a calm mind, you can make decisions that are right for your family.
- Try to understand the other parent's opinion.
A Time of Stress
Find productive ways to manage your:
- Get organized
- Eat well
- Get rest, and
- Develop a support system of adults.
- Find positive ways to calm yourself down.
- You will not get everything you want.
- Get legal help, if possible, to make realistic requests.
- The Court has to make some difficult decisions.
- Find ways to express your emotions that do not hurt your family.
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