Fort Collins
High Conflict
Child Custody Lawyer

Fort Collins High Conflict Child Custody Attorney

Child custody battles are often emotionally charged and tense, even when both parents are earnestly trying to act in their child’s best interests. We love our children and want what’s best for them, but that isn’t always a simple thing to figure out after a marriage ends in divorce or the relationship between co-parents deteriorates.

Sometimes, both parents can work amicably with their Fort Collins child custody attorneys to make agreements about child custody arrangements together. When they can, it will lead to better outcomes for everyone involved, including and especially for minor children. Unfortunately, we know this isn’t always possible, and high conflict custody cases do occur locally in Fort Collins, CO, and throughout the world.

When an ex-spouse chooses to act maliciously, these already and naturally difficult divorce proceedings can become downright toxic. Although it is a crime to lie during court proceedings, this doesn’t always dissuade people from doing so. Many times, this happens through one ex-spouse lying or exaggerating about the other. It can be subtle, such as downplaying someone’s involvement in parenting, or it can be quite extreme, such as falsely accusing the other parent of physical abuse.

If your ex-spouse is lying about you in court in an effort to damage your relationship with your children, you have the right to fight back. The best first step to protecting yourself and your children is to consult with an experienced, high-powered family law firm like Johnson Law Group. Attorneys Myles and Genet Johnson have assembled a world-class team of Denver-based legal professionals and family law experts. They can design and implement the perfect strategy to defend yourself from an abusive ex during important Colorado child custody proceedings.

High Conflict Custody Battles in Colorado

Child custody battles can represent some of the most heated and difficult cases in any courtroom. We naturally want to believe that everyone involved, meaning both parents and all court officials, are trying to pursue the best possible outcome for the minor children involved in the case. However, sometimes opinions can differ widely as to what those outcomes look like. A judge and each parent might have very different opinions about a child’s needs, and unless the child is too young to communicate, they might also have their own opinions to present to the court. With so many different voices involved, a quality Fort Collins child custody attorney can help ensure that your voice is heard and that your case is presented to the court in a way that is effective and legally actionable.

A good attorney can also help protect you from direct involvement when custody battles turn into dramatic, high conflict cases due to circumstances such as:

  • Relocation – when one parent wants to move away with their minor children, they must follow certain legal procedures. Existing child custody orders may need to be modified or revoked when a parent relocates. If you feel your ex should not be allowed to move out of state with your children, or if you have custody and your ex attempts to stop you from moving with your children, a judge must decide on the matter. When one parent wants to move away to pursue a certain career opportunity or a new relationship, their desire to move may push them to take extreme actions, such as lying about their ex in court.
  • Visitation – when one parent takes exception to visitation or custody orders and feels slighted by them, they may feel entitled to influence the court by slandering or accusing their ex of trying to have the orders changed. While every parent has the right to have their side heard in a court of law, nobody has the right to lie about you to a judge to try to gain access to your children.
  • Responsibilities – when one parent feels the court is making a mistake in custody decisions by assigning custody to their ex, and they perceive this as a danger to their children, they may act out in extreme ways. A concerned non-custodial parent may believe that the other parent is not capable of following through with their parental responsibilities as assigned by the court. It is important for each party to inform the court of any and all relevant information about their ex and their parenting history. However, if this ramps up to lies and fabrications about your character and your ability to parent your children, you must be prepared to defend yourself in court.
False Allegations: A Serious Matter

When false allegations are brought into child custody cases, it is most often part of a tactic called parental alienation. Parental alienation refers to one parent’s attempts to undermine and subvert the other parent’s relationship and involvement with their children. This can occur through subtle gaslighting or overt threats. These behaviors may be targeted at the other parent, the children themselves, other involved parties that may have leverage over the children’s relationship with the targeted parent, or all of the above. An extreme form of parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to use the court and family law procedures as a tool to further their goals.

The false allegations used in court will typically be directly relevant to the ex’s suitability as a parent. This is often in the form of extreme claims about serious issues like child abuse, neglect, endangerment, domestic violence, substance abuse, etc. While you are innocent until proven guilty, the court takes allegations of harm or endangerment to minor children extremely seriously. If your ex attempts to use dishonesty to engage in parental alienation, you must have a proper strategy for disproving their false allegations if you wish to protect your reputation and the well-being of your children.

Alienation vs. Estrangement

Estrangement is another term that sometimes comes up in family law cases. Alienation is a distinct concept from estrangement. Estrangement occurs when the child rejects bonding with the custodial parent due to their own fears or concerns. Estrangement does not typically involve a toxic parent manipulating the situation the way parental alienation does.

Strategies for Beating False Allegations

If your ex is making false statements about you in court to alienate you from your children or undermine your chances of getting custody or visitation rights, there are several things you and your legal counsel can do to fight back:

  • Hire experts – psychiatric and child development experts can be hired independently or directed by the court. If needed, your Fort Collins child custody attorneys at Johnson Law Group can connect with the area’s foremost clinicians and family law experts to put the weight of expert testimony behind your case.
  • Be forthcoming – it can be embarrassing when someone makes extreme or inappropriate allegations against you in a court of law, and this can be felt even more sharply when that court case involves your children. If your ex is a skilled and effective manipulator, it is likely that their lies will be based on a small grain of truth. It is important to be honest with the court about your own shortcomings and issues. Answer plainly and honestly when the court attempts to get to the bottom of your accuser’s false statements. Speak with your lawyer and be certain you understand your legal strategy before engaging with your accuser’s claims on any level.
FAQs About High Conflict Child Custody Cases in Fort Collins, CO

Q: How much does a custody lawyer cost Colorado?

A: As with most other legal services, the exact price of a child custody lawyer in Colorado will vary depending on a number of factors. The complexity of your case, the part of Colorado you live in, and the quality of the legal representation you hire will all play a role in determining the final cost of services. Most family law practices charge an hourly rate for custody cases. High conflict custody cases can become more expensive than routine cases because they may require significantly more hours spent in court dealing with false allegations from your ex. While extreme false claims from the other parent in a custody case can sometimes run up the cost of legal services, it also makes quality legal help extremely important. Without a sound legal strategy in place, your ex’s lies have the potential to undermine your relationship with your children as well as your reputation.

Q: How do you win a custody battle in Colorado?

A: Every family is different, and so is every divorce. This means “winning” a custody battle will look a little different in each individual case. For that reason, the best legal strategy will also vary. Some clients only want to be awarded visitation and fair co-parenting time, while others have serious concerns about the well-being of their children and are seeking full, sole custody of their children. Very generally speaking, the path to winning a custody battle is to present the court with solid evidence that you are a fit and capable parent.

Q: What is considered an unfit parent in Colorado?

A: In Colorado, an unfit parent is one who has been declared by a legal authority to be unable to meet their child’s basic needs or one who has endangered their child. Applying this label to a parent is a serious matter requiring clear evidence because it may result in that parent losing custody, visitation, or other parental privileges. Likewise, the court will take false allegations of unfit parenting very seriously.

Getting Help: Defend Yourself Against False Allegations

If you’re facing false claims from your children’s other parent in family court, don’t make matters worse by engaging in their attempts to bully or bait you. Reach out to the world-class family law team at Johnson Law Group of Colorado. We’re ready to help you disprove false allegations and protect your most precious asset: your relationship with your children.

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Our experience, dedication to Colorado families, and our success in each case we represent sets us apart from the competition. We are passionate about family and estate law. Our highly-qualified team will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible results in your case.
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