How Does Your Support System Affect Child Custody in Denver?

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted October 4, 2023

When determining child custody, Denver divorce mediators and court systems consider a child’s full support system, not just the individual parents. Most custody agreements focus primarily on the two co-parents, splitting parenting time, residence, and visitation rights whatever way represents the most healthy schedule for the child or children. However, you might be surprised how often involved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and siblings (of the parents or child) play a role in child custody decisions. Even close family friends who have a strong presence in the child’s life can contribute to the proceedings, especially in divorce mediation where there is time to consider every factor.

How much does a childcare support system affect child custody agreements in Denver? Depending on the case, it can be quite a bit. Today, Split Simple is here to answer your essential questions about how much – or how little – your support system can influence your parenting time and visitation rights in a Denver divorce.  

Child Custody Support System FAQ

  • How does your support system impact child custody?
  • Can friends and family strengthen your child custody claim?
  • Can you get child custody without a support system?
  • How do you deal with a toxic support system in child custody?

The following information will help you answer all these questions and more.

The Child’s Relationship with Family Members

One of the first factors taken into consideration is the child’s relationships when it comes to custody decisions. If awarding primary child custody to one parent would take them away from the support system they have come to rely on, this may be seen as an unfavorable outcome.  When possible both Denver divorce mediators or courts will favor situations where children can maintain a strong relationship to grandparents, cousins, and other family members they are close to at the time of the divorce.

family law attorney in Denver

Frequent caretakers can also participate in the child custody agreement discussions, offering their insight on the child’s preference or testifying to their involvement in the child’s life.

This also means that parents who have a robust support system that already has a strong connection to the child are more likely to maintain or share custody, even if other circumstances might make it difficult to raise the child on their own. This takes us to the second point: childcare assistance.

Family and Friends Willing to Help with Childcare

Often, single parents struggle to manage childcare on their own, and co-parenting doesn’t always offer a good solution. If both parents work, but are now sourcing childcare from separate incomes, a strong support system can make a big difference.

Family and trusted friends who are willing and able to provide childcare can tip the scales on whether a custody situation is viable. Parents may be able to more easily split child custody or a working parent may be able to take primary custody with additional caregivers in their close personal circle.

Financial Support Regarding the Child

Sometimes, a support system may even be willing to add financial support to a childcare plan. If a grandparent, sibling, or other relative will put on paper that they will provide a certain amount of support to a single-parent household, courts may look more favorably on a parent who might otherwise struggle to support the child on their own. This can also ease the burden of child support on a non-custodial co-parent who may face similar financial challenges.

The History of Involved Friends and Family

Of course, any friends and family who directly involve themselves in cudstodial discussions should prepare to have their own histories in child care examined. Family members who have a clean record and/or a strong history of successful caregiving will likely strengthen the proposed support system.

However, family members who have had problems with the child or with the law in the past may be detrimental to a parent’s bid for greater child custody if they form a significant part of the proposed support system. Both factors should be carefully considered.

Dealing with a Toxic Support System

While it’s good to have supportive family members and friends when planning to be a single parent, you may be concerned that some proposed caregivers may be toxic to your child or children. If your ex’s parents have always been hostile or there is an irresponsible adult sibling in the family (or if your own family might make hostile decisions once you are isolated with the child), it’s important to plan for these risks.

Mention to your Denver divorce mediator that there are some people you’d like to keep out of your child’s life, and it is possible to build these factors into a child custody agreement – or into additional legal documents, if necessary.

Child Custody Without a Support System

Of course, not every divorcing parent has a strong support system, and that can be OK, too. If you have a strong bond with your child and the ability to support them, you don’t need any support system at all. Many people do not have close family or trusted friends to fall back on – for a wide variety of reasons – and if your ex has a strong support system, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will gain a greater percentage of shared custody.

As long as you can provide a nurturing home for your child or children, you can make a strong bid for equal co-parenting or even primary custody depending on the circumstances.

Building a Supportive Child Custody Agreement with Divorce Mediation

In Denver, divorce mediation is the best way to carefully build the best possible child custody agreement. Whether you have a robust support system, one or two good people in your life, or are fighting for your kids solo, your Denver divorce mediator will carefully walk through all the relevant factors and draft a custody agreement based on what is best for the child and what works for both parents circumstances and schedules.

To explore child custody options with a Denver divorce mediator, contact us today. Split Simple is here to help Colorado families achieve mutually beneficial separations, no matter what your circumstances may be.

Split Simple

1624 Market Street #202

Denver, CO 80202