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Child custody matters are rarely one size fits all

No matter how contentious the split, divorcing parents should take the time to fully understand the legal process of determining child custody. Even when parents are caught up in the details of property division, it is almost always preferable to work out a child custody arrangement between parties than to approach a Colorado family court judge and ask for a determination to be made.

Fortunately for families looking to make a child custody agreement, these matters are far more flexible and malleable today than in past decades, and a wide range of options are available for parents who are dividing one household into two.

Gone are the days when an automatic assumption could be made that the children would remain with their mother, while the father only receives alternate weekends and splits holidays. Child custody arrangements now can be specifically tailored to needs of the families they serve. In addition, the courts are usually willing to sign off on an arrangement that suits the needs of the parents and children involved.

While an every-other-weekend arrangement may suit some families, others strive to create a plan that divides parenting time and responsibility as evenly as possible. Children can move between households according to a schedule that suits their needs and accommodates the working schedules of both parents.

Some creative parents swear by a process known as 'nesting,' in which the children live full-time in one residence, and the parents alternate moving in and out according to their parenting schedule. While this solution may not work for every family, it is an excellent example of the options available to parents.

Attempting to come to an agreement outside of court may be the best way to settle child custody in an amicable fashion. It can save considerable time, stress, expense and contention. Coming to an agreement at the onset of divorce does not prevent either Colorado parent from approaching the court in the future to ask for a custody modification, if one is needed. In addition, such an approach can help parents build a foundation for their future co-parenting relationship, and also gives the children the peace of mind of knowing that their parents are putting their needs first.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Custody And Its Different Components," Eyal Talassazan, Oct. 16, 2012

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