Children are unique beings that have different needs from their parents. When two parents go through a divorce the careful balance that they have created to provide stability for their children may be upset by the turmoil in their relationship. When Colorado families are pulled apart due to divorce, children can be left with uncertainty in their lives.

Because of this, parents often prioritize their child custody plans. Most often custody is thought of as where a child will live after their parents’ marriage end. But custody is much more than just that. While physical custody relates to a child’s physical needs and residence, legal custody concerns who makes child-rearing decisions that will impact the child’s life.

For example, when a mother and father divorce, the father may be granted physical custody of his child. If the child’s mother’s life is not suited to having the child live with her, she may retain legal custody and share it with the father. In such a situation both the mother and the father could have input on where the child is educated, what types of medical treatment they receive, and if and where the child is given spiritual or religious counsel, regardless of the fact that the child lives with the father.

Legal custody is an important right in a parent’s life because it allows that parent to retain the power to influence and advocate for what they feel are the best choices to guide their children’s care. In some cases, a parent may be denied legal custody, but as with all legal matters individuals should receive case-specific guidance for their individual legal needs.