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Child Custody

Boulder Child Custody Lawyer 

Also Serving Denver and the Surrounding Areas

What happens with the children can be one of the most emotional and contested issues in a divorce settlement. Parents need an attorney who is sharp on the law, savvy in negotiations, and soft in personal compassion. That’s the kind of Boulder child custody lawyer parents can find at SM Family Law, LLC. 

Call (720) 586-4227 or contact us online today. We can meet either in person or virtually, whichever you prefer.

Types of Child Custody in Colorado

The state recognizes two main forms of custody: physical custody and legal custody, each playing a distinct role in the child's upbringing: 

Physical Custody

Physical custody refers to where the child resides and who is responsible for their day-to-day care. In Colorado, physical custody can be either sole or joint. 

Sole physical custody means that the child lives primarily with one parent, who handles the majority of daily responsibilities. Conversely, joint physical custody indicates that the child splits time between both parents' homes, allowing both parents to share in the everyday tasks and joys of raising their child. 

Legal Custody

Legal custody involves the right to make significant decisions about the child's life, including those related to education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Similar to physical custody, legal custody can be awarded solely to one parent or jointly to both.

Joint legal custody means that both parents must collaborate and agree on major decisions affecting their child's welfare. In contrast, sole legal custody grants one parent the authority to make all important decisions independently. 

Send Us a Message
Ready to take the next step in resolving your family's legal matters? Reach out to us today at SM Family Law, LLC. Our compassionate team is here to listen, provide expert guidance, and support you through every aspect of your case. Whether you need assistance with divorce, child custody, or any other family law issue, we're dedicated to helping you find the best solution. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation and start your journey towards a brighter future.

The Best Interests of the Child

The sole criteria a Colorado court will use in custody decisions are the perceived best interests of the child. Courts typically start with the presumption that children benefit from having both parents equally involved in their lives, a presumption that points to joint custody. However, there are different circumstances in each individual case. 

A common example might be a situation where one parent lives much closer to the school the child attends. In this case, it might be determined that the child’s best interests are served by granting sole physical custody to the parent nearest to the school, while still awarding visitation rights to the other. In circumstances like these, the non-custodial parent may still share joint legal custody for decision-making purposes. 

More unfortunate circumstances arise in situations where one parent may struggle with addiction or show a history of abusive behavior. In these cases, the best interests of the child might be served by having very limited contact (or none at all) with that parent. The burden of proof in any situation lies with the parent who is seeking sole custody. 

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Why Choose SM Family Law, LLC?
  • Exclusive Focus on Family Law
    SM Family Law, LLC exclusively handles family law cases, ensuring specialized and in-depth expertise for each client's unique situation, offering the highest level of focused legal assistance.
  • Exceptional Client-Centered Approach
    At SM Family Law, LLC, we prioritize the unique needs of each client, providing personalized, empathetic, and effective legal representation to ensure the best outcomes in family law matters.
  • Proven Track Record of Success
    With a history of winning complex cases and achieving favorable outcomes, SM Family Law, LLC is dedicated to delivering reliable, professional, and strategic legal solutions for all family law issues.
  • Comprehensive Legal Expertise
    Our team specializes in a wide range of family law services, from divorce and child custody to alternative dispute resolution, ensuring that clients receive thorough and knowledgeable support throughout their legal journey.

Common Issues to Be Settled in Child Custody

Every family’s situation has its own unique dynamic. However, some issues tend to arise with reasonable frequency: 

  • Living arrangements: Deciding where the child will live and how their time will be divided between each parent's home is a primary concern. This includes working out a detailed schedule for weekends, holidays, and vacations.
  • Education decisions: Parents must agree on where the child will go to school, as well as any decisions related to special educational needs or extracurricular activities. 
  • Healthcare choices: It is vital to determine who will make medical decisions, including routine care and emergency situations. 
  • Religious upbringing: Conflicts can occur over religious education and practices, particularly if parents come from different faith backgrounds or have varying levels of religious commitment. 
  • Parental communication: It is extremely important to establish how parents will communicate with each other about the child’s needs and make joint decisions. This may include setting up a standard protocol for decision-making. 
  • Vacations: Parents want to create memories with their children, and going on vacations is often a part of that. A custody plan can include the right for each parent to take the children for a specified period of time during school breaks. 

With these, and with any other matter that arises, it bears emphasizing that the more detailed the custody plan is, the less likely it is that parents will have a dispute later on. For example, a good plan for visitation can be as specific as “Parent A picks up child from school at 3 PM on Friday and returns them home at 8 PM on Sunday.” 

That’s where the experience of SM Family Law, LLC can be invaluable. Between over ten years of working as a family lawyer, and prior experience as a judicial officer in a family court, Attorney Sangeetha Mallavarapu has seen the types of disputes that arise and can help develop proactive plans to deal with them upfront. 

Experienced Help for You and Your Children 

We believe that our clients know what’s best for their children, and we do everything in our power to get parents’ voices heard, whether in mediation or in court. When you need a Boulder child custody lawyer to advocate for you, call SM Family Law, LLC. 

Reach out today at (720) 586-4227 to schedule a free consultation.

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