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Colorado Child Custody Laws

In 1999, Colorado switched from calling child custody by its traditional name of "custody" and instead now calls it "parental responsibilities." The parental responsibilities are the same: deciding who the child lives with; who gets to make major decisions (such as educational or health decisions); and what "parenting time" or visitation will be for the non-custodial parent and possibly grandparents.

The family court determines parental responsibilities based on the best interests of the child standard. This means the judge considers many factors in determining what is best for the child, including the parents' wishes, the child's wishes, the emotional bonds between parents, and how hard a time the child would have adjusting to a new neighborhood or school.

This article provides a general overview of child custody laws in the state of Colorado.

Child Custody Laws in Colorado: At a Glance

The following table outlines the main parts of the child custody laws in Colorado.

Code Sections

§ 14-10-123 et seq. of the Colorado Revised Statutes

Year Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Adopted


Joint Custody an Option?

Yes, but Colorado doesn't recognize the term "joint custody" and uses "decision-making responsibility" terminology instead; no preference on how that is to be allocated, except must be in the child's best interest

Grandparent Visitation Rights Recognized?


Child's Own Wishes Considered?

Yes, a child's wishes are a factor the court will consider if they are sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Learn More About Colorado Child Custody Laws from a Lawyer

When it comes to child custody laws, the rules can get complicated quickly. You want what's best for your child and hope the law will help you achieve that. If you're dealing with child custody issues in Colorado, you don't have to go it alone. Contact a local child custody attorney to learn more about Colorado child custody laws and they apply to your particular situation.

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  • Custody & child visitation cases are emotional, and a lawyer can seek the best outcome
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