This blog recently discussed the importance of talking with children about child custody but to do that, it is helpful for divorcing parents to understand what child custody decisions are based on. Child custody determinations are based on what is in the best interests of the child and a variety of different factors are used to determine that.

Child custody factors in Colorado

Many factors are used to determine what is in the best interests of the child which is not the same in each situation. Factors that are evaluated include

  • The mental and physical health of the parents;
  • Any special needs of the child and the ability of the parents to meet those needs;
  • Any other children whose child custody arrangement is relevant to the child’s own child custody arrangement;
  • Interactions and relationships with other members of the household;
  • The opportunity to interact with extended family members and the support of those extended family members;
  • The need for a continuous and stable home environment;
  • Any adjustment to school or community;
  • Religious and cultural considerations;
  • Any pattern of domestic abuse or any other abuse in the home; and
  • The wishes of the child based on the child’s maturity level.

Professional guidance may help in child custody issues

The goal of any child custody arrangement is to achieve the overall well-being and safety of the child. Each child custody situation is unique and, because both physical and legal custody of the child must be determined, it is beneficial for divorcing parents to be familiar with how the family law process seeks to achieve a child custody arrangement that is best for their child.