970 663-0898 jdrakelaw@msn.com

Colorado Child Custody Law

Fort Collins | Loveland | Greeley

Child Custody is known as the Allocation of Parental Responsibilities in the state of Colorado. Under the umbrella of Parental Responsibilities, there are two main components, Decision Making and Parenting Time. Decision Making allocation determines the rights of each parent to  make major  decisions involving their children’s educational, medical, religious, and extra-curricular needs, as well as any other major concerns. Parenting Time involves parenting time schedules and whether one parent has the majority of time with the children.

No Matter How Challenging

While there is no such thing as a simple child custody case, through my career, I have experienced even the most complex cases.  I have handled cases involving child abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, psychological parents, relocation and other unique factors.  No matter how challenging you believe your case to be, I can help. My role as an attorney and counselor at law is to listen to you, help you determine what you believe to be in your child’s best interest and negotiate a resolution which meets with your child’s needs.  If negotiation does not result in resolution, I will take your case to trial and aggressively represent your interests.

Decision Making

Decision Making responsibilities will be allocated either jointly to both parents, solely to one parent, or a blend of joint/sole decision-making to  the  parents. One parent may have sole decision-making for medical decisions while the parents  share joint decision-making on educational  decisions. Routine, day to day decision making (non-major) will rest with the parent who has the parenting time when the decision need to be made.

There are a number of factors the court will consider in determining whether joint or sole decision­ making is in the child’s best interest. These factors are set forth in in the Colorado State Statutes and include whether there is credible evidence of the ability of the parents to cooperate and make joint decisions, whether there is a past pattern of involvements of the parties which reflect a system of values, time commitment and mutual support, whether the allocation of mutual decision-making will promote frequent and continuing contact between child and parent and whether either parent or the child was the victim of abuse.

As an experienced attorney, I can assist you in evaluating the factors and whether joint or sole decision­ making is appropriate for you and your children.

Parenting Time

Parenting time involves the issues of where the child resides, whether equally in both parent’s homes or whether the child will reside primarily with one parent and the non-custodial parent will have parenting time. Parenting time schedules take all shapes in Colorado and are unique to each family. In the last decade, parenting plans have become more creative, and in many cases allow both parents to have significant time with the children. Parenting time schedules are created based upon the best interest of the children. Past patterns or parenting, bonds between child and parent, age of the children, special needs of the children, and work schedules of both parents are some of the critical factors considered when creating a parenting time schedule. In some families, drugs and alcohol issues or mental health issues of a parent pose additional concerns which fact into parenting time schedules. The standard is “what is in the best interest of the child?”

Parents also need to create Holiday time schedules for the children. In some families, the schedule is flexible while in other families there is a need to be specific on the dates/times of exchanges for different Holidays. All families are different and have different needs.

Ms. Drake has years of experience and has heard from many parents about what schedules work or don’t work for families. She can assist and share her experiences with you.

In the Child’s Best Interest

When attorneys and parties have the child’s best interest in mind, I find mutual agreement about decision-making and parenting time is usually possible. If parents cannot agree, the court makes custody decisions.

Parents can obtain Child and Family Investigators or Parental Responsibility Evaluations in more complex cases to assist in the determination of the child’s best interest.

I have worked in family law matters for over thirty years. I listen to every detail my client provides me so I have a full understanding of their concerns. I take my client’s concerns seriously and will work diligently to provide you and your children with an outcome which meets the children’s best interests.


Stepparents, next of kin and others may adopt a child when statutory criteria is met. Birth parents may consent to the adoption. In most cases, unless the natural parents’ consent, the courts require proof of abandonment, either financially or physically for a period of one year or more. Ms. Drake can work with you to determine whether a child is eligible for adoption and ensure you meet all the statutory criteria.

Contact Ms. Drake About Your Case

Let's Work Together

Contact me to discuss your case. My Loveland office is conveniently located at 361 E. 27th Street, Loveland Colorado.

Hours are
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday 
8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Fridays.