Custody hearing was March 8.
My daughter was unable to present any witnesses, no testimony but her own.
Her expert witness was to be contacted by phone; her lawyer said he could not reach her, but the witness's phone records indicate no call was made. Three other witnesses were not allowed to testify; the judge did not indicate why they were not allowed to testify.
Divorce and custody hearing the same day. Husband based his petition on her past mental health history (once diagnosed as bipolar) and alleged instability, citing incidents from two to ten years prior. She was emotionally and sexually abused in the marriage and the child lived with her since her escape a year ago, but this was apparently not considered by the court.
I was not in the courtroom at the time but I understand that her attorney did not object.
Colorado laws state that it is in the best interest of all parties to encourage frequent and continuing contact between each parent and the minor children of the marriage after the parents have separated or dissolved their marriage. In order to effectuate this goal, Colorado laws and lawmakers urge parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing and to encourage the love, affection, and contact between the children and the parents.
-From 14-10-124 of the Colorado Revised Statutes
In cases involving child custody (whether contested or uncontested), both parties must submit a parenting plan or plans for the court’s approval that shall address both physical custody and visitation, and the allocation of decision-making responsibilities. If no parenting plan is submitted or if the court does not approve a submitted parenting plan, the court, on its own motion, shall formulate a parenting plan that shall address physical custody and visitation and the allocation of decision-making responsibilities.
The court shall determine the allocation of parental responsibilities, including physical custody and visitation, and decision-making responsibilities, in accordance with the best interests of the child giving paramount consideration to the physical, mental, and emotional conditions and needs of the child. In determining the best interests of the child for purposes of custody, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following guidelines under Colorado laws:
The court, upon the motion of either party or its own motion, shall allocate the decision-making responsibilities between the parties based upon the best interests of the child. The court may award decision-making responsibilities (legal custody) solely to one parent or jointly between the two parents. In determining the best interests of the child for purposes of allocating decision-making responsibilities, the court shall consider, in addition to the factors listed above, the following:
The court shall not consider conduct of a party that does not affect that party’s relationship to the child, and shall not presume that any person is better able to serve the best interests of the child because of that person’s sex. If a party is absent or leaves home because of spouse abuse by the other party, such absence or leaving shall not be a factor in determining the best interests of the child.
If your daughter believes that the judge was truly biased against her, she can file a Complaint with the Colorado Judicial Commission. Below is a link to the Commission along with instructions as to how to file a Complaint.
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