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Family Law

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Top 10 Child Custody Mistakes

Despite best intentions, parents without proper legal representation are at risk of committing one of the top 10 child custody mistakes in Colorado. At my Adams County law firm — Tolison & Williams, Attorneys at Law, LLC — I guide clients through the child custody process. My years of experience as an attorney help my clients avoid these serious mistakes:

  1. Alienating children due to spite for the other party.Kids are fragile; don't use them to get back at their other parent. If there are concerns regarding you or your children's health and safety, consider a restraining order or other action instead.
  2. Assuming custody arrangements based on gender. Neither mother nor father will automatically receive more or less custody time based on gender. It is instead based on the best interests of the children involved.
  3. Assuming a parent who wasn't involved in a child's life won't get parenting time. The law promotes both parents being in a child's life, even if that parent made mistakes in the past.
  4. Leaving just to avoid confrontation. If you plan to play a role in your child's life and future, you need to stay and settle matters with the other parent.
  5. Assuming you do not have to pay child support because custody is 50/50.Even if actual time is equally split, there may be support payments for one parent based on the needs of the child and how parental responsibilities are allocated.
  6. Verbally agreeing to modify child custody or support without going to court.Custody arrangements made without court involvement do not hold legal ground, and child support not paid can be collected retroactively for years into the future if the change is not documented through court.
  7. Punishing for unpaid child support by withholding parenting time. Both parenting time and support payments are to benefit the children, not the parents. Withholding time with children is not the proper way to respond to delinquent payments.
  8. Assuming that because you have primary custody, you can move out of state with the children.The best situation for children is time with both parents, so relocation must be approved by the other parent and sent through the courts for modification to support and custody orders.
  9. Thinking that custody arrangements end when a restraining order is in place.The courts may order that parenting time continue, though it might include supervision by a third party and require that transfer of the child take place in public.
  10. Not seeing a lawyer to make sure that agreements are enforceable and realistic. You may think that you can handle your custody issues or modifications on your own. This may be the case, but the best way to protect your interests is to meet with a lawyer — at least for an hour or two — to review your parenting plans for missed opportunities.

Contact A Brighton Attorney About Child Custody

To set up a consultation, call me at 800-331-0745 or fill out the contact form. I accept credit cards as a form of payment and offer mobile representation, meeting when and where it's convenient for you.

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