5 Colorado Summer Vacation Destinations for the Whole Family

Summer break can be a hard time of year for divorced parents. While extra time with your kids and warm weather can bring joy, it can also come with difficulty splitting up parenting time. Sometimes, even just planning a vacation can be difficult if it’s going to be out of state. This list of 5 family-friendly Colorado destinations will make planning your summer vacation far easier and allow you to make the most of your parenting time.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

  1. Durango: This charming and historic town has a lot to offer during the summertime. Because of the river that runs through town there are plenty of water sports to keep the kiddos busy including kayaking, tubing, paddling, and whitewater rafting. Durango also offers a scenic railroad, in addition to various restaurants, boutique hotels, retail stores, and the Durango Discovery Museum!
  2. Snowmass: New on the summer vacation scene, Snowmass is quickly becoming one of the best family vacation spots in Colorado. There are tons of options for outdoor activities, like the Treeline Trial Challenge Course and the Lost Forest Adventure Park, which offers zip lines, an alpine coaster, a climbing wall, disc golf, and even paintball. In addition, the town of Snowmass boasts restaurants, live music, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and even a rodeo. The Roaring Fork River also offers water sports, specifically paddle boarding with local guides.
  3. Steamboat Springs: This cute Western town offers a weekly rodeo, which draws many tourists to the area. Main Street offers a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as being close to the Old Town Hot Springs. The springs have numerous pools and areas to play in and are a great spot for kids! There are plenty of activities on the mountain as well, including mini-golf, tubing, mini-boats, bounce houses, climbing walls, a mountain coaster, hiking, and biking. The 4th of July is a great time to visit Steamboat Springs for their huge parade through Old Town.
  4. Glenwood Springs: Another hot spring town? We promise it’s worth the stop! Glenwood Springs has a resort called Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, which offers a mile-long pool for kids to swim to their heart’s content. In the summertime, there are cabana rentals and even a splash zone. For the more adventurous children, there is adventure to be had at the Historic Fairy Caves Tour at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
  5. Winter Park: Only a 90-mile drive from Denver, Winter Park has a lot to offer its summer visitors. On the mountain, families can check out Colorado’s longest alpine slide, free Friday movie nights, climbing walls, and the Trestle Bike Park, which has trails appropriate for all ages. Families can also take a one-hour walking tour of the kennels at the Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park. The area also boasts 5 mountain lakes, which are perfect for boating, fishing, and water sports. Grand Lake is one of these lakes and is Colorado’s largest body of water. The historic boardwalk has various shops, restaurants, and even a theater to check out. As with all of Colorado, there are beautiful trails and hikes to be found all over this area.

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Securing your Visitation Rights

If you are the parent of one or more young children, a child custody order is likely part of your divorce settlement. When parents do not have equal parenting time under their custody order, the non-custodial parent may have visitation rights.

As a parent with visitation rights, you have the right to spend time with your child during your allotted time with him or her. When your former partner’s actions infringe on your visitation rights, you have the right to fight back and the right to be with your child.

How the Court Determines Child Visitation Rights

In Colorado, the court determines a child’s custody order according to a set of factors that enable it to determine the arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. These factors include:

  • Both parents’ physical and mental health state;
  • The child’s medical, emotional, psychological, and academic needs;
  • The child’s relationship with each parent;
  • The child’s current living situation and the extent to which altering it would negatively impact the child; and
  • If the child is old enough to articulate a well-reasoned preference, the child’s preference may be considered.

What to Do if your Former Spouse is Keeping your Children from You

If you have a court order for a child custody arrangement, you and your former spouse are legally required to comply with it. Failure to do so is contempt of court and can subject a parent to criminal penalties.

Report your former spouse’s behavior to your family lawyer so there is a record of his or her actions. Do not escalate the situation with your former spouse by yelling, threatening, or trying to coax your child into taking your side.

Taking Legal Action to Enforce or Modify a Child Custody Order

An occasional missed visit is not something worth taking legal action over. When this happens, be willing to be flexible and work with your former partner to make up for the missed parenting time. When your former spouse consistently refuses to let your child spend time with you despite your court order requiring it, you need to take legal action.

Take action by filing a petition with the court to enforce your child custody order. When you do this, the court will step in to require your former partner to comply with the order. This could lead to the court modifying your child custody arrangement if it feels your child’s health or psychological well being is being harmed by the current situation. Beyond cases like this and cases where the child is relocating to a new permanent address, Colorado parents may only modify child custody orders every two years. You lawyer will determine whether you are eligible to file for a child custody modification and if so, work with you to draft and file the petition.

Work with an Experienced Colorado Family Lawyer

Asserting your rights in family court is much easier and typically, more successful when you work with an experienced Lakewood divorce attorney. To get started with a member of our team at Divorce Matters, contact our office to set up your initial legal consultation with us.

Tips for Creating a Child Visitation Schedule

One key way of reducing the potential for conflict when it comes to a child custody situation is penning a visitation schedule that works for both parents as well as the child. A stable schedule can help parents and children avoid confusion about who has custody and when.

The most basic visitation schedule is the repeating cycle. For many parents, this will involve one parent having custody during the week when the child is in school and the other parent having custody on weekends. Depending on the distance between the two homes, this schedule is very flexible. The benefit of a repeating schedule is the ability to plan events and vacations far in advance without the headache of renegotiating custody.

Holidays, Special Occasions and Vacations

A consideration you will have to make when defining a visitation schedule is holidays. You should plan these far in advance and look to both work schedules and your child’s school schedule to determine the most appropriate arrangement. Depending on what days the holidays fall on as well as whether the parents are members of different religions can make this step a bit more complicated, which is why planning far in advance is the best course of action.

The next consideration to make is vacation time and special occasions. Birthdays, graduations and leaving the country are all times you should add to your calendar. With things like birthdays and graduation, it is easy to plan in advance, so you should do so; vacations, on the other hand, can be more impromptu. You must discuss these with your spouse before you finalize plans to ensure that a satisfactory custody arrangement can be made. If you wish to take your children for a week’s vacation in the Bahamas, you should be willing to concede a week to your ex as well; compromise is key to ensuring that a visitation schedule is best for the kids.

The common theme in these considerations is planning ahead. Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry; because of this, you should always be willing to listen to your ex and work together to create the best possible schedule.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

How to Handle Visitation with Teenagers

When your child reaches adolescence, you might find that the terms of visitation you worked out while he or she was younger no longer work in the child’s interest. If your divorce is recent and you already have teenagers, the prospect of working out a schedule that allows you, your ex and your child’s lives to balance can be daunting.

When plotting a visitation schedule for teens, you have to take into account what your teen wants. Teens have to balance time between friends, school, sports and other extracurriculars, dating and work. If your visitation schedule precludes any of these things, in all likelihood you will be met with resentment on top of the already monumental task of raising teens.

This time can be especially difficult for a non-custodial parent. Teen schedules can be hectic; school from morning to afternoon, extracurriculars until 5pm, work even later. Because the non-custodial parent has limited time, it is important to set up some minimum time per month with the non-custodial parent.

If your teen has some event during your visitation time ”“ a dance, for example, on a Saturday night when you have custody ”“ don’t tell the teen they can’t attend because you want to see them. Take them to the dance yourself, and pick them up ”“ be flexible, and spend what time you can with them.

During this period of independence and self-realization, it is still important that you see your teen, and your teen will appreciate your willingness to compromise to allow him or her to pursue his or her own growth.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

Making the Most of Non-custodial Parenting

Being the non-custodial parent can be challenging. It is a drastic change from spending your day-to-day life with your child to limited visits, and coping with this shift can be frustrating. However, just because you no longer get to spend as much time with your child does not mean you cannot still be an important part of the child’s life.

There are lots of parents in your shoes, so we’ve compiled some advice from non-custodial parents to help ease the transition for you.

Understand and exercise your rights as the non-custodial parent. Make sure that you’ve made time to visit when you are allowed. If you are able to speak on the phone or text message each other, take advantage of that. Do you have access to school and medical records? Use that access! Keeping close tabs on your child allows you to be involved in his or her day-to-day life while also providing you useful information if, in the future, you decide to modify the custody agreement.

Work with the other parent. Do not harbor resentment for your ex, even if you feel like the custody situation is his or her fault. The easier you make the change for the other parent, the more accommodating he or she will be to you when you want time with your child. Co-parenting is not only best for you and your ex, but for the child as well.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your situation, focus on what is right. Spending time with your child should be a happy, memorable experience, and as long as you keep a positive outlook and make sure that you fully utilize your time together, the memories you make will overshadow any negativity you might feel toward being the non-custodial parent.

The transition will be difficult, but if you handle it correctly, being the non-custodial parent should not serve as a detriment to your relationship with your child. If your custody arrangement still proves unsatisfactory, though, you can always speak to a family law attorney about custody modification.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

How to Deal with the Ex’s New Partner

The emotional rollercoaster ride of divorce does not end with the signing of documents. The after-effects can be just as traumatic as the divorce itself, and one of the most tense times can be when your ex starts seeing someone else. The troubles are only magnified when children are involved, especially when your ex’s new partner is going to become a big part of the childrens’ lives.

Having a new authority figure can be difficult for children to deal with. Sometimes the kids will hate the new person; other times, the kids could like him or her. Both sides present unique emotional challenges, so here are a few tips to help your children when a new boyfriend or girlfriend enters the picture.

The Kids Like Him/Her!

If the kids get along with the new partner, you can at least rest assured that the kids are not miserable while with your ex. But the new partner might interfere with your own ability to parent; for example, perhaps the new partner allows your children to do something you don’t agree with, like drinking soda or swimming without supervision. In these situations, it is best to present yourself as a positive person. Never speak ill of the new partner in front of the children. If you have real concerns, the person to speak to is your ex; after all, the kids are his responsibility, too.

You might also consider getting to know this new partner. Having an amicable relationship with him or her can allow you to judge personally whether your children are going to have problems.

The Kids Hate Him/Her!

Unfortunately, a new partner can really upset children. They might feel like your ex does not spend enough time with them, or maybe that the new partner is mean. If the partner has his or her own children, your kids might not get along with them. Again, the person to bring up your concerns with is your ex. Keep the conversation focused on what is best for the children, and if the childrens’ issues with the new partner are serious enough to present danger to the kids, whether emotional or physical, you might consider speaking with your family law attorney.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys