On behalf of Cooper & Tanis, P.C. posted in child custody on Thursday, October 13, 2016.
Colorado parents who are divorcing may find that they cannot come to an agreement on some aspects of co-parenting. They might want to avoid litigation, or if they are already divorced, they may want to avoid going back into court to have a judge decide the matter. Furthermore, judges may frown upon being asked to litigate minor parenting disputes.
A couple who is in agreement about avoiding court might aim for a collaborative divorce. This involves agreeing that they will not go to litigation and hiring collaborative lawyers. They then make an effort to resolve their differences and reach a legally binding agreement. A collaborative coach may be able to help them come to a resolution.
A mediator can work with parents to try to reach a cooperative solution. The decision reached is not legally binding, but parents can use their attorneys to make it so. Another option is a co-parenting counselor who works with parents to strengthen their relationship and help them resolve their differences. A co-parenting coordinator is like a judge who can listen to disputes on minor issues and make a decision. It is also not legally binding, but parents who have reached an impasse might agree to see a co-parenting coordinator and accept the coordinator’s judgment.
Negotiating child custody can be a fraught process because parents’ emotions are already high during the divorce. While putting together a parenting agreement, even issues about children’s activities, bedtime and other minor issues may be difficult to resolve for the same reasons. Parents should attempt to focus on what is best for the children and avoid using them to attack the other parent. If they can use one of the above methods to develop conflict resolution skills, the co-parenting process after the divorce may go more smoothly.