What Does Allocation of Parental Rights Mean in Colorado?

November 18, 2021

What Does Allocation of Parental Rights Mean in Colorado?

If you are going through the process of a divorce, you may have asked yourself, “What does allocation of parental rights mean in Colorado?” Our family law attorneys at Johnson Law Group can help. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation - Phone (720) 463-4333 Text-to-Chat (720) 730-4558

Custody Process in Colorado

Allocation of parental responsibilities is covered under Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14, which covers domestic matters. If you are the parent of a child in Colorado and want to file for custody, the process by which you do so is through filing an allocation of parental rights or a custody case. You are entitled to file either of these even if you are not currently married to the child’s other parent. Filing an allocation of parental responsibilities potentially requires many documents and you may consider following the Instructions for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities as you move through the process.

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities often covers three broad areas related to the care and welfare of a child. This includes parenting time, how decisions will be made regarding the child, and any court-ordered support (or support that is mutually agreed to).

Requirements to File for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Certain requirements must be met to have legal standing to be able to file for the allocation of parental responsibilities in Colorado. These requirements include:

  • A child must live in Colorado for a minimum of six months before filing or since birth if under six months of age.
  • Your case must be filed in the county where the child resides, even if it is not the county that you live in.
  • If you and the other parent agree on how to delegate the allocation of parental responsibilities, then you should file the case together as Petitioner and Co-Petitioner. If you disagree, then one party would be the Petitioner and the other would be the Respondent.

Best Interests of the Child Standard

The best interest of the child is a legal standard that will be used by the court to determine how to set visitation between two parents. Sometimes, parents cannot agree on how they would like to split time with their child for whatever reason. This can be because of a broken relationship between parents or a difference in beliefs of what is best for the child.

In other instances, the parents of a child do not live together but they still want to share regular visitation and custody of the child. In these cases, allocation of parental rights would explain how much time each parent could have with the child. If you and the other parent agree on how much time each person can have with the child, then those decisions would prevail. However, if the court needs to step in to help determine visitation rights, then they will do so considering the best interests of the child. When the court steps in the judge will help determine what the visitation schedule would be best. When a court considers the best interests of a child, they may consider the following:

  • What the child wants as long as it can be articulated.
  • Where the parents live in relation to each other and other things that affect the child’s schedule each week.
  • The overall health of each parent, including mental and physical wellness.
  • Religious considerations.
  • The age of the child.
  • Any adjustments that would need to be made in terms of schooling and activities.
  • Any history of abuse or violence in either parental home.
  • Drug and alcohol use or abuse by either parent.

Our family law attorneys at Johnson Law Group can help guide you if you find yourself asking what the best interest of your child may be as well as what the allocation of parental rights in Colorado means for your specific situation.

What Parental Rights Covers

Allocation of parental rights should cover all areas related to the care and safety of the child between two parents. Things that you may want to consider as you are establishing an allocation of parental rights:

  • Parenting time: How much time each parent can spend with the child.
  • How drop-offs between parents will be handled.
  • Whether either parent must be supervised with the child.
  • Whether or not any parent may drink alcohol while the child is in their care.
  • How decisions related to the child’s health and welfare will be made.

Similar to the best interests of the child standard, if you and the other parent can agree on how to handle the parental rights, then that agreement is all you need between the two of you. However, if you cannot agree, then a court may step in to determine what is in the best interest of the child and how to allocate parental rights among the two parents.

Post-Decree Cases

You may be in a situation where a court order has been made but you are interested in modifying something related to the allocation of parental rights after the fact. This is called a post-decree case. It can include a motion to modify or motion to enforce depending on your particular request.

For example, perhaps you have moved, and you and the other parent decide that the time spent with each parent needs to be adjusted. In this case you may consider filing a motion to modify to recognize the updated desire to change the schedule of the child. You may also be experiencing a situation where one parent is not paying child support. In this case, you would want to file a motion to enforce so that they are compelled to honor their responsibility.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

Child custody can sometimes be a confusing and long process. You may still be asking yourself questions like “What does allocation of parental rights mean in Colorado?” and wondering how it applies in your situation. Our experienced attorneys at Johnson Law Group can make recommendations that are tailored to you. Contact our offices today at to learn more - Phone (720) 463-4333 Text-to-Chat (720) 730-4558.

Written by Family Law Attorney Myles S. Johnson
Divorce doesn’t have to be dramatic. For the litigants, losing your spouse is significant enough. But you can choose the way it affects your daily life. The only guarantee I can give is that the feeling that you have right now will not be the feeling you end with. This is a season in your life, and it must be approached that way.
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