What’s the difference between joint legal and joint physical custody in Colorado?

By Kate Miller
November 02, 2017
What’s the difference between joint legal and joint physical custody in Colorado?

In Colorado there’s a difference between legal custody and physical custody. Custody is basically broken down into these two categories of legal and physical. Legal is the right to make decisions about the child’s care, education, health and religion, while physical custody is the actual time the child spends with either parent.

Custody issues are the most contested areas of family law, parents fight the hardest over children. Unfortunately parents will often use the child or children as leverage against the other parent. This is extremely destructive. Custody, which is often known as parenting time agreements, allocate legal and physical custody which provide consistency and stability for children in a divorce.

One of my favourites is the condor analogy because it illustrates the destructive nature of parents fighting over their children. This analogy where condors build their nest at the cliff's edge and after laying an egg, the condor’s squabble over which of them gets to incubate the egg. When Mom sits on the nest, Dad will jab her with his beak to try to get her to move. When Dad sits on the nest, Mom does the same thing to Dad. Condors become so engrossed in their fight that neither one of them tends the egg. Eventually their squabbling pushes the egg out of the nest and over the side of the cliff, where it’s smashed to bits.


Kate Miller is a Denver, Colorado attorney focused exclusively on the practices of divorce and family law. She has lived many of the issues regarding divorce and child custody, and is passionate about helping people through this process. To learn more about Kate and her firm visit www.MillerFamilyLawLLC.com.

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November 02, 2017
Categories:  FAQs

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