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State lawmaker lands in hot water over child custody order

Emotions can run high in a divorce. Our Denver based family law firm has observed that certain divorce issues can be particularly troublesome.

It may come as no surprise to learn that children can be a hot button issue among divorcing parents, especially when aspects of legal or physical custody are disputed. Yet dividing complex assets, like business interests or retirement plan accounts, can be equally troublesome.

A proactive approach with experienced legal counsel can go a long way toward minimizing courtroom battles. Yet if divorcing parties do require the court's assistance, it is important to respect the court’s inherent authority by complying with any judicial decision.

Colorado State Rep. Tim Leonard is learning this lesson the hard way. He was recently sentenced to a two-week jail term for failing to comply with the judge’s orders in his divorce case regarding the division of educational decision-making.

In Colorado, the court makes child custody determinations based on the best interests of the child. There can be many factors considered in that analysis. In addition, a variety of parenting arrangements are possible. For example, one parent may have primary physical custody even though decision-making is shared through a joint legal custody arrangement, or parental responsibilities, as it is now called.

With children, it is important to frame any proposals with the applicable legal standard in mind. We’ll consider some scenarios in our next post.

Source: The Denver Channel, “State Rep. Tim Leonard will serve 14 days in jail for contempt of court in a divorce proceeding,” Marshall Zelinger and Alan Gathright, Dec. 9, 2016

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