Decision Making & Modification of Decision Making

Durango Lawyers Knowledgeable in Parental Decision-Making

Most parents want to have some say about the activities their children participate in, their medical well-being, their religious upbringing, and other aspects of their kids' daily lives. Decision making and modification of decision making is a critical part of parenting in Colorado. The Durango parental decision making attorneys at Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt have significant experience helping parents with these issues. We have diligently served clients in La Plata County, Archuleta County, Montezuma County, and the Southern Ute Tribal Court jurisdiction.

Deciding Which Parent Makes Decisions for Colorado Children

Even if one parent has more parenting time than the other, Colorado courts usually give parents shared decision-making authority over the kids. In that case, neither parent may unilaterally make a major decision but must always consult the other parent so that the decision is made together. For example, one parent may not unilaterally decide to homeschool the kids or allow one of the kids to get plastic surgery. However, if there is an emergency medical procedure that is necessary, either parent may consent to it without consulting the other. For this to work out, parents need to share at least some similar values and get along with each other.

Daily decisions are somewhat different from major decisions. Whichever parent the kids are with at the time of a particular activity usually makes those decisions. For example, what time a child goes to bed or whether he cleans the room before getting to watch television are daily decisions left up to the individual parent.

Colorado allows parents with shared decision-making responsibility to access information about their children. Any parenting plan must require parents to give each other contact information for educators, doctors, therapists, religious authorities, babysitters, or any other service provider. It also requires each parent to execute forms that would allow the other parent to access relevant information as well. Parents should try to anticipate the issues that are likely to arise in making future decisions. For example, parents of different faiths who are divorcing should anticipate that a major question likely to arise is what faith and religious tradition the children will follow. Similarly, if one parent wants the children to attend private school, this can be decided at the time of divorce. If one parent hates guns, and the other is a hunter who wants to take the kids hunting, the issue of firearms training might come up. Other issues that can be anticipated are when the kids get to start dating or driving. A sound parenting plan will consider the probability that at some point divorced parents will disagree about child-rearing. The plan should include a process for resolving the dispute, so that the court need not be accessed for minor disputes. For example, the process could be to consult a neutral third party, like an arbitrator or mediator. Or the court might give one parent ultimate decision-making authority.

Seek Legal Counsel from a Durango Family Law Attorney

Decision making and modification of decision making are key components of parenting in Durango. You and your ex-spouse may have differing ideas about what is in the best interests of your children. An experienced Durango divorce attorney from Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt can skillfully represent your interests to the other side, a mediator, or, if necessary, a judge. The attorneys of Greenberg, McGuinness & Alt represent clients in Durango, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and Ignacio. Call us at (970) 259-4422 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment with us.