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Colorado seeks courts who rule in child custody

In Colorado and elsewhere, child custody proceedings can be detrimental to the children involved if the parents or guardians are constantly fighting over the details. Child custody hearings are primarily about the well-being of the child or children, especially when they are being pulled in different directions by the guardians or parents. When the parties cannot reach an agreement among themselves, the court steps in and makes a determination based upon the best interests of any children involved.

A custody agreement that is settled by the parents usually represents the best options for the parties, including the children. In March, 2014, a mother in another state filed a petition with her local court that sought to end a custody agreement made in 2007 between her and her ex-boyfriend. The consent agreement provided that the two would equally share custody of the woman's daughter, who is the oldest child, and the couple's two sons. The man is the biological father of the two boys but has also played the role of primary father figure for the girl since she was 10 months old.

The judge determined that the mother was unfit to be awarded primary physical custody of the three children, though he did award the parties joint legal custody. Reportedly, the mother resorted to a social media campaign to air her grievances, disparaging her ex-boyfriend and the court itself.  The judge entered an order in March prohibiting this behavior, prompting a federal lawsuit by the mother that accuses the judge of infringing upon her free speech rights. In his most recent ruling, the judge awarded primary physical custody of all three children to the ex-boyfriend, designating him as the primary decision maker in regard to the children.

While the circumstances in these proceedings were somewhat unique, the basic guidelines used to resolve child custody disputes appear to have been followed. The best interest of the child, or the children in this case, is the court's primary concern when deciding these issues. Colorado residents confronting these problems will likely benefit by seeking the advice and guidance of an attorney well versed in handling family law disputes.

Source: chronicle.augusta.com, "Boyfriend gets kids over mom in custody battle", Sandy Hodson, April 24, 2015

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