If you file for divorce in a Colorado court and you happen to be a parent, there will be numerous issues that you and your spouse must work out before the judge will issue a final decree. Child-related divorce matters include issues such as custody agreements, visitation schedules and child support. You may encounter challenges regarding one or more of these topics if you and your spouse disagree about how your new parenting plan should work.
Extenuating circumstances can spark contentious court battles. For instance, if you follow celebrity news headlines, you may have read about an ongoing legal dispute between actress/singer Jennifer Hudson and the father of her child, David Otunga. Otunga has requested partial custody; however, he also has asked the court to order Hudson to pay child support.
When a parent is trying to win custody, things can get messy
If a parent requests custody, he or she must convince the judge that the proposed arrangement is in the best interest of the child in question. Judges can decide such issues on a case-by-case basis. The following list shows some of the issues that have been brought to the court's attention in the Hudson/Otunga case:
- Otunga has stated that Hudson's career as a famous actress and singer keeps her away from her child so often that she is an unfit parent.
- Otunga claims that he is the primary caretaker of the former couple's child.
- Hudson has told the court that such statements are not true and that Otunga travels often because of his career in the World Wrestling Entertainment industry.
- Hudson has also stated that Otunga has tried to get work as an actor, which shows that he approves of the career choice.
- Otunga reportedly said he can't afford to buy a home.
- Hudson said Otunga is just trying to take financial advantage of the fact that he is the father of a celebrity's child; she also said the status should not entitle him to housing subsidies.
As is common in many Colorado custody cases, Otunga and Hudson agreed to try to settle their differences out of court. As is also common in many non-celebrity situations, negotiations did not work out, and the two parents will go to court once again. In your case, whether you're getting divorced or have never been married, you too can convert a case from mediation or collaborative law to litigation, if necessary.
Things to remember
Whether or not you're famous isn't as important as whether or not you and your co-parent can come up with a plan that helps your child adapt to a new lifestyle in as healthy a manner as possible. If you make a claim that your co-parent is unfit or ask the court to order child support, you must be able to support your statements.