BY: Justin Oliver
Anyone participating in a proceeding that allocates parental responsibilities quickly becomes aware of the phrase “best interest of the child.” Courts focus nearly of all their analyses around the best interest standard when allocating parenting time and decision making responsibilities. Section 14-10-124 of the Colorado Revised Statutes delineates nine factors courts must consider when determining what is in a child’s best interest as it pertains to parenting time, and an additional three factors for courts to consider in determining a child’s best interest as it pertains to decision-making responsibilities.
Many of the best interest factors concerning parenting time are straightforward and pose little challenge to parties seeking to present their position to a court. The wishes of the child’s parents as to parent-ing time, for example, can be established through party testimony. The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time — another statutory factor — is typically addressed through stipulation (concerning the geographical distance between the parties) leaving party testimony to address the practical considerations of exchanging the children and transporting the children to and from school, appointments and extracurricular activities.