Family Law:

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities/Custody

Our team is committed to building a strong case that protects the best interest of you and children involved. We understand how emotional these matters can be, and we’re here to guide and support you every step of the way. Our legal services include:


  • Abduction prevention
  • Appointment of PRE/CFI
  • Decision making and parenting time
  • Never married
  • Restriction of parenting time
  • Relocation to include international relocations
  • Same sex relationships
  • Temporary protection orders to protect children and Parties
  • Third party/psychological parents

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

In Colorado, we have an “allocation of parental responsibilities” between the parents of a child, instead of child custody. The court determines an allocation of parental responsibilities in the best interests of the child. An allocation of parental responsibilities essentially has two components: decision-making authority and residential care/parenting time.

Decision-making authority is with respect to major decisions only, such as health, education, and spiritual upbringing. Either parent, or both parents, can be allocated decision-making authority for their child. If one parent has decision-making authority, this is referred to as “sole decision-making authority.” If both parents share decision-making authority, this is referred to as “joint decision-making authority.”

“With respect to parenting time, the court will make a determination as to whether the child shall reside primarily with one parent and have parenting time with the other parent, reside equally with both parents, or reside a certain number of days with one parent and the remaining with the other. In extreme circumstances, a parent’s parenting time may be supervised by a third party to protect the child’s mental or physical health.

There are a few different ways to commence an action for allocation of parental responsibilities. Perhaps the most common way is through the commencement of an action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation. However, a parent, or a nonparent who has had the physical care of a child for six months or longer, can file a petition for allocation of parental responsibilities in the county where the child resides. 

Protecting the Parent-Child Relationship

While it is usually best if parents are in agreement as to how to raise their child, frequently parents may need guidance as to what their legal rights are and, in some cases, they may need help in preserving their rights and protecting their children. In contested cases, we understand how difficult and emotional these matters can be. We are here to help guide you through these times and get you and your child the best possible results. If you have questions regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities, please contact our office for a free initial consultation.

Call the M&S Law Offices today!