Typically, when a court determines a visitation schedule, it will make a decision based on a number of factors, most prominent of which is the best interests of the child.
The court will use a number of factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child. These include the parents’ relationship with each other, their mental and physical health, their ability to provide a nurturing and loving environment, as well as any history of domestic abuse or violence in the family.
One factor that the court may also consider before it determines the parenting time or visitation schedule is feedback from the child. In other words, a child may be asked for his wishes about the parent that he would like to live with.
This is rarely as dramatic as the judge calling a child to his desk, or to his chamber, and asking him which parent he wants to live in. It’s important to understand that even though the judge may ask your child his preferences about which parent he wants to live with, the child’s wishes may or may not have any impact on the final decision. Further, the court will only ask the child if the child is old enough to provide such feedback to the court.
In Colorado, persons can only make their own decisions about parenting time when they reach the age of 18. Any child below the age of 18 is considered a minor, and therefore, his wishes, even though they may be considered, may not completely change the direction of the case. Instead of considering the child’s oral testimony, the court may prefer to look at how the child’s actions or behavior point to his real wishes in the matter.