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Child custody laws are different in each state. In Colorado there are several criteria that the courts use to determine which parent gets custody of the child.
First, it’s about the best interest of the child. Therefore, if the child expresses an interest in living with one parent over the other that is an important piece of information to consider. Normally, this is one of the most important factors, especially in older children. However, it is by no means the only factor. If it is deemed that the parent that the child wishes to live with, for example, cannot provide a suitable environment, this factor is lessened in potency.
Secondly, the mental and physical health of the parents can be a factor. As noted above, if one of the parents is deemed unfit either mentally, or physically, this could affect the decision of which parent takes custody of the child. On the other hand, as with the first factor mentioned, it is not the only factor. For example, if the parent is physically unable to care for the child, but has the financial means to hire a helper to raise the child, this physical hindrance may not be as important as it seems.
The child’s school and community can also be a factor. For example, if sufficient evidence is provided that removing the child from his or her current school will result in a significant decline in the quality education or life experience then that can be a significant factor.
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