Domestic Violence and Child Custody in Colorado
Divorce is complicated and stressful enough, but when allegations of domestic abuse are involved, the situation is even more difficult.
If you are being accused of spousal abuse or intimate partner violence during your divorce in Colorado, there are some very important things to know.
Domestic violence in divorce may impact custody and parenting responsibilities. In Colorado, the judge will consider the ‘best interests of the child’ when deciding what type of parenting plan to put in place. Under Colorado law, if an allegation of domestic violence has been made, the first thing the court must do is consider these allegations before any other factors are considered.
If a parent is determined, by a preponderance of the evidence, to have committed an act of domestic violence, the court may decide that joint decision-making authority is not appropriate, and may award sole decision-making authority to the abused parent. The court is also required to consider the safety of the child and the abused party as paramount in deciding parenting time for the parties. This could mean that the alleged abuser is required to have supervised parenting time or limited time with the children, including no overnight parenting time.
The court can also impose certain requirements on the alleged abuser, such as a requirement to undergo a domestic violence evaluation and treatment or a requirement that the party is restricted from drinking alcohol or using controlled substances before and during their parenting time, etc.
For these reasons, if you have been accused of domestic violence and you are getting divorced, you should have a professional on your side to help protect your rights as a parent. A lot is at stake in these circumstances. If the allegations are false, you need an experienced family law attorney to defend your parenting rights. If the allegations are true, you need trusted legal advisor to help you take the steps to show the court that your parenting should not be restricted.
The Colorado Springs divorce attorneys at Knies, Helland & McPherson are experienced in representing parents who are accused of domestic violence in Colorado. Contact us online or call us for more information at 719-626-8530.