A child custody case is referred to in Colorado as an “allocation of parental responsibilities” (or “APR” for short) case. Colorado Revised Statutes 14-10-123 addresses jurisdiction of a child custody case. A child custody case is started by a parent filing for divorce or legal separation (in which case the child custody issues are dealt with as part of the divorce or legal separation case, or by a parent filing a “Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities.” The latter case is done when the parents are not married to one another.
There are also some cases when a non-parent can file a child custody case or request to obtain parental responsibilities over a child or children. In those cases, some additional jurisdictional requirements as well as standing requirements should be met.
In Colorado, whether the issue of child custody is dealt with in a divorce/legal separation case, or in its own APR case, the orders that the district court would enter are generally the same. The court would be able to enter orders pursuant to the children’s best interests for parenting time, decision-making responsibility and anything else that should be entered into the parenting plan. The court would also be able to enter orders pertaining to child support and financial issues pertaining to the child.
For a parent and child living in Highlands Ranch, for cases filed in Douglas County, Colorado, child custody cases are heard in the same divisions as divorce/legal separation cases and generally fall under the same procedural guidelines. Both divorce cases and child custody cases are given the same “DR” (domestic relations) designation in their case number. If you have a question about a child custody case, contact us today.