Grandparents or any third party may seek custody or allocation of parental responsibilities (APR), pursuant to C.R.S. § 14-10-123.30. However, in order to seek APR under this statute one of these two conditions must be met; either, the child must not be in the physical care of the parent, or the non-parent must have had physical care of the child for six months or longer, and the petition must be filed within six months of the termination of the non-parent’s physical care of the child. The statute requires the non-parent to give notice to the child’s parent, guardian, or person allocated parental responsibilities, who may appear and be heard on the petition for allocation of parental responsibilities.
The court will apply the best interests of the child test just like in any other allocation of parental responsibilities case, however, keep in mind that the rights of the natural parents to parent their children are still important here, even if the child is not currently living with them. Thus, these can become complicated cases. If you are interested in filing for custody of a child under this statute please contact our office and schedule a consultation to discuss your options with one of Smith & Shellenberger, LLC experienced attorneys.
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Mediation is a process of assisted negotiation. The purposes of the process is to help parties reach an agreement on issues in a divorce and hopefully create what is called a Separation Agreement. In mediation, the parties make their own decisions, however a mediator provides all the relevant background legal information and can evaluate the facts based on the law to inform the parties what offers comport with the law. The mediator is there only to provide information and facilitate negotiation. Unlike, the court they do not impose decisions on the parties. This level of agency is one primary benefit of mediation.
In almost all cases Colorado family law courts require mediation. Colorado court rules promote mediation in family law cases. Therefore, courts often order mediation occur prior to a final hearing. Courts order mediation to save the parties and the court time and resources. However, this is not the only reason to engage in mediation. People are often happier with the result of mediation because they reach it on their own. Additionally, mediation is often preferable to spending lots of money in attorney fees and several months litigating a divorce.
Colorado attorney ethics rules require attorneys tell their clients that there are alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation. CRPR 2.1. At Smith & Shellenberger, LLC we believe in the benefits of mediation and will advise you on your rights and best interests prior to engaging in mediation. Our office can also recommend mediators we have worked with in the past and help ensure that you get the most value out of your time spend with the mediator.
Mediators are neutral third parties. They do not represent either party in a divorce. Thus, it is helpful to have an attorney who can advise you and keep your interests in mind during the mediation process. The attorneys at Smith &Shellenberger, LLC, we can help you use mediation to reach a resolution to your divorce that saves you time and money and helps you maintain the important relationships with your former spouse and children that will allow you all to move forward together harmoniously.