Article 10 - Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act
14-10-124. Best interests of child.
(1) The general assembly finds and declares 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, the general assembly urges parents to share the rights and responsibilities of child-rearing and to encourage the love, affection, and contact between the children and the parents.
(1.5) The court shall determine custody in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court, upon the motion of either party or upon its own motion, may order joint or sole custody after making a finding that joint or sole custody would be advantageous to the child and in his best interests. In determining the best interests of the child, the court shall consider all relevant factors, including:
(a) The wishes of the child's parents as to his custody;
(b) The wishes of the child as to his custodian;
(c) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parents, his siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
(d) The child's adjustment to his home, school, and community;
(e) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(f) The ability of the custodian to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the noncustodial party;
(g) Credible evidence of the ability of the parties to cooperate and to make decisions jointly;
(h) Credible evidence of the ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party;
(i) Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support which would indicate an ability as joint custodians to provide a positive and nourishing relationship with the child;
(j) The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of awarding joint custody;
(k) Whether an award of joint custody will promote more frequent or continuing contact between the child and each of the parties;
(l) Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect under section 18-6-401, C.R.S., or under the law of any state, which factor shall be supported by credible evidence. If the court makes a finding of fact that one of the parties has been a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect, then it shall not be in the best interests of the child to award joint custody over the objection of the other party or the guardian ad litem of the child.
(m) Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of spouse abuse as defined in subsection (4) of this section, which factor shall be supported by credible evidence. If the court makes a finding of fact that one of the parents has been a perpetrator of spouse abuse, then it shall not be in the best interests of the child to award joint custody over the objection of the other party or the guardian ad litem of the child, unless the court finds that the parties are able to make shared decisions about their children without physical confrontation and in a place and manner which is not a danger to the abused spouse or the child.
(2) The court shall not consider conduct of a proposed custodian that does not affect his relationship to the child.
(3) In considering a proposed custodian, the court shall not presume that any person is better able to serve the best interests of the child because of that person's sex.
(4) If a parent is absent or leaves home because of spouse abuse by the other parent, such absence or leaving shall not be a factor in determining the best interests of the child. For the purpose of this subsection (4), "spouse abuse" means the proven threat of or infliction of physical pain or injury by a spouse on the other parent.