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Determination of Parenting Time when Parents Live Far Apart

In Colorado, the court will take the child’s best interests into account when deciding child custody, visitation, and parenting time arrangements. It’s not just the physical and mental health of the child that the court will consider, but also his social and interpersonal exchanges, including his relationship with his siblings, parents, and other important adults in his life.

While determining visitation agreements, the courts have full discretion. The court will typically take into consideration the age of the child. For instance, when the child is below the age of two, a court may choose to restrict any overnight time spent with the noncustodial parent. Similarly, in cases, where the parents live far apart from each other, the court may decide to take the child’s age into consideration before finalizing or signing off on any parenting schedule.

In such cases, the court may decide to allot time for the noncustodial parent during the holidays, and during summer. In the case of an older child, the court may simply decide that it is in the child’s best interests to remain in one place during the school year instead of frequently traveling to be with a parent who lives further away.

Long distance parenting arrangements involve frequent travel for the child, and such travel is not deemed to be conducive to the best interests of the child. It could actually be detrimental to the child’s emotional and physical development.

Even in cases, where the physical custody of the child cannot be shared equally, because one parent lives far away from the other, both can continue to maintain legal custody of the child, which means that both parents would have equal authority to make decisions related to the development of the child.