DECISION MAKING IN CHILD CUSTODY

Denver Child Custody Attorneys

Legal decision making is now determined by the court as a significant part of defining child custody. The other part that defines custody is parenting time. So when a court refers to child custody, they not only mean where the child will live, but also who will be making major decisions for them. 

If you have questions about decision making for your child, we can help. Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton, P.C. has been helping the Denver, Colorado area in family law matters for over 65 years. Here are some things our attorneys want you to know about decision making when it comes to child custody.

Colorado Decision Making FAQs

There are three different types of decision making for children of divorced parents. These are sole, joint, and final decision making authority. Whatever is ordered by the court is what is determined to be in the best interests of the child.

Sole Decision Making Authority

When a parent has sole decision making authority over a child, this means they are the only one legally responsible for the major decisions on a child's part. 

Joint Decision Making Authority

This is essentially the same as joint custody, only in terms of decision making. Joint decision making authority falls upon the responsibility of both parents. This means that the parents must work together in determining major decisions for the child. 

Final Decision Making Authority

This might also be referred to as joint decision making authority with “final say.” This means that both parents are to work towards a joint decision, but if they cannot come to an agreement, one is awarded the final say. This is essentially a tie-breaker between the two, only if they seem to have reached a dead end.  

When assigning decision making authority to parents, this generally only applies to major decisions. Though there is no set definition or list of what constitutes a major decision, there is a general idea of what is major versus what is minor. Here are some examples.

Major Issues

One of the main decision making factors has to do with healthcare. A major issue in healthcare concerns the choice of provider for the child. It also relates to decisions regarding surgery or any other type of extensive medical treatment.

Education also has to do with major issues in decision making. This mostly includes where the child goes to school and whether it is a public, private, or home school.

A child getting baptised or participating in an important religious ceremony also applies to a major issue. Finally, major issues in general welfare include any type of risky or dangerous activity or behavior. This could be anything from skydiving to getting a tattoo.

Minor Issues

Minor issues apply to issues that do not have the potential to make a huge impact on the child’s life. Though most healthcare decisions are major, general wellness checkups at the doctor or taking generic prescription medications are not considered major issues.

Other minor issues may refer to daily routines like what the child eats for dinner or what they wear to school.

Contact Denver Child Custody (Decision Making) Attorneys

If you have any further questions regarding decision making for your child, we can help answer them. Our attorneys will work with you to assert and maintain your decision making rights. Contact Litvak Litvak Mehrtens and Carlton today for your family law needs. Call us at 303-951-4506 to arrange a consultation.