What Are the Legal Factors for “Best Interests of the Child” in Colorado?
In determining the best interests of the child for purposes of parenting time, Colorado courts consider several factors summarized below:
1. The wishes of the child's parents;
2. The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences;
3. The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
4. The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, (except disabilities may not form the basis for denying or restricting parenting time);
6. The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party, (except the court won’t hold it against a party if they are acting out of safety concerns for the child, especially in cases where the child has witnessed domestic violence);
7. Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;
8. The physical proximity of the parties to each (for practical concerns like drive time for exchanges, distance to school, etc);
9. The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.
For more information on these factors, see Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-124.