Child Custody Attorneys in Centennial, Colorado

In many cases, the most important aspect of a divorce or legal separation is the effect on any children involved. During the process of a divorce, emotions run high and parental bonds with the children in question can make it difficult to do what is best for the children and make decisions that are truly in their best interests. Are you and your spouse or partner preparing for a divorce and the discussion of parental rights? Call on the child custody lawyers at The Law Firm Of Dennis A Lacerte for help to make the best choice for your children and defend your rights as a parent.
Young Daughter Holding Mothers Hand — Child Support in Dr. Centennial, CO

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities:

Parental responsibilities include child support, parenting time, and decision making (formerly known as child custody). Our focus is on how our clients' needs fit with their child(ren)'s best interests. We encourage our clients to maintain this perspective for the long-term benefit of their child(ren).

In Colorado law, the Courts no longer use the terms “Child custody” or “visitation.” Custody is broken down into two pieces:
1) Parenting Time – Parenting time is the amount of time each parent spends with the child or children. Parenting time involves how many overnights each parent gets, as well as how parenting time exchanges will take place, when exchanges will happen, which holidays each parent will spend with the children, and how long each parent will spend with the child or children.

2) Decision making – Decision making responsibility refers to who gets to make major decisions for the minor child or children in a number of categories. Typically the Court makes orders regarding who gets decision making responsibility over: major medical decisions, educational decisions, religious decisions, and extracurricular activities for the minor children. Courts tend to award decision making to both parties, but if the parties cannot get along, or domestic violence is an issue in your case, it is possible to ask for sole decision making for one or more of these categories.

The Court will make Orders about both parenting time and decision making responsibility in a dissolution of marriage case. The Court must determine what is in the best interest of your child when determining parenting time and decision making responsibilities.

Our attorneys try to work with parties to draft of a parenting time plan that will specifically work for your family's needs.

When parties cannot decide on parenting time or decision making arrangements, a child custody evaluator may be needed. The Court can appoint a Child and Family Investigator or a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator to review your case.

Experienced Child Custody Attorneys

The Law Firm Of Dennis A Lacerte has provided clients in Englewood, Colorado and surrounding areas with effective legal advice on child custody, visitation, and related matters since 1983. A vast knowledge of child custody law and a strong commitment to protecting children and good parents make our law firm the right place to call when the custody and well-being of your children come into question. Are you ready to fight for your rights as a parent? Do you need a successful attorney to assist you in seeking joint custody? We can help. Call us now at 303-708-1300 to schedule an appointment.

Child Support:

Child support in Colorado is determined by looking at the income of both parents, and the number of overnights that each parent has with the minor child, or children. The Courts have guidelines that they typically use in determining whether or not an award of child support is appropriate. The guidelines take into account each parent's respective incomes, time the child or children spend with each parent, contributions toward health insurance and contributions toward work related child care.

Parental Relocation:

The United States Supreme Court has determined that being a parent is a fundamental right. Courts are reluctant to restrict a parents right to the care and control of their children.

Grandparent Rights:

Our attorneys are experienced in representing parents, grandparents, and other third-parties in cases where a non-parent is seeking parenting time or decision making rights. Grandparents have rights to parenting time pursuant to the Colorado Children's code.

Third-Party Parental Rights:

If a child has been placed in the care of a third-party, that third party may have the right to request an allocation of parental responsibilities for that minor child. Our attorneys are experienced in representing third-parties in cases where a non-parent is seeking a custody arrangement, and parenting time or decision making rights.

Stepparent Adoption:

When a parent remarries and their new spouse steps into the shoes of an absent parent, it may be appropriate for that stepparent to consider adopting their spouse's child. We help our clients achieve a successful stepparent adoption, including terminating the rights of the non-custodial parent (the parent with whom the child is not living) and granting an adoption by the stepparent.

Child and Family Investigator:

In both pre-decree (initial divorce) and post-decree(after divorce) cases, if you and the other party cannot come to parenting time and decision making agreements it may be necessary to hire a parenting time evaluator to help the Court determine what is in the children's best interests.

A Child and Family Investigator (“CFI”) is a third-party neutral who is hired by the parties, and/or appointed by the Court, to do a brief and focused assessment of the best interest of the children to a child custody case. This person is likely to go to each party's home, interview both parents, interview other related people and interested parties, and interview the minor children. The CFI then writes a report for the Court regarding what they have observed of the parties. The CFI also has the ability to make recommendations to the Court regarding parenting time and decision making, based on what they believe is in the best interest of the minor child/children.

Our attorneys are experienced in working with CFIs, and will be able to tell you if hiring a child and family investigator would be beneficial in your case. Jennifer S. McDonald, an attorney at our firm, is a trained Child and Family Investigator. She is available for CFI appointments. Please call our firm to discuss her appointment if you would like to hire her for an investigation. Her email is and our phone number is 303-708-1300.