Baby Mama

When you have kids but never married your ex, you still need to consider having an official court order as to parenting time and decision-making responsibility.  The parenting plan and court orders will help to ensure clarity and consistency.  Hopefully you and your ex can figure out a way to co-parent easily but the plan and court orders come in especially handy should things deteriorate between the two of you.  In order to draft your parenting plan, you can agree on what your plan will be.  If there are areas you can’t seem to come together on, consider mediation.  This may be a cost-effective way to reach agreement about your plan.  If mediation fails or if you know that mediation is not an option, consult with a family law attorney about your family and goals.  A family law attorney can advise and represent you with regard to filing for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (APR).  If you are representing yourself (pro se), look into pro-se legal clinics at the court house or through Colorado Legal Services to help direct you.  If you or your attorney believe a Child & Family Investigator (CFI) will be helpful, you can discuss that option with the other party and the judge.  The CFI would learn about you, your ex and your children and speak with a selection of family and/or others who know you and your kids.  The CFI would provide a recommendation in a written report and may testify as an expert in your case.  To learn about the CFI’s fees or if you would likely qualify for the state to pay those fees, contact the CFI directly.