In situations where you and the other parent of your child are no longer together, the court decides the allocation of parental responsibilities (decision-making and parenting-time) related to your child. You may become the custodial parent (the parent with whom the child resides with for the majority of time) or the non-custodial parent. Often times, depending on various circumstances, a parent may need to modify the parenting time order. Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, in Colorado you can file for a motion with the Court to modify the current allocation of parental responsibilities.
Why Ask for Modification of Parenting Time in Colorado?
Some of the situations warrant modification of the current parenting time schedule may include relocation of a parent that either brings the parent closer or further away from the child. Additionally, a parent may be in need of modifying parenting time if the other parent is or has put the child in a dangerous situation or placed the child at risk of physical or emotional harm. Or, in instances where a change in the current parenting plan is in the best interest of the child. It is good to note here that the court will accept a parenting time modification request only when it has evidence to determine, that if the request is granted, it will ultimately be in the best interests of the child and that parenting time by either party would not endanger the child.
Right to Modifying Parenting Time in Colorado
In certain circumstances, a parent may not be eligible to seek modification of the current parenting time order. For example, if there has been a previous motion seeking to substantially modify parenting time, which also sought to change the parent with whom the children reside with the majority of the time, was filed within the previous two years, a subsequent motion cannot be filed until two years has passed since that previous motion was decided. However, there are no time restrictions in bringing an action to modify parenting time in certain instances including, if:
- The current parenting time schedule, if allowed to continue, would endanger the child’s physical health or emotional development.
- If the request is to change parenting time because the parent with whom the child resides with the majority of the time is relocating and the relocation will substantially change the geographical ties between the non-custodial parent and the child.
How to Ask for Parenting Time Modification in Colorado
In a situation where the parents cannot agree on modifying the current parenting time, either parent has the right to file a Motion to Modify Parenting Time with the court. This motion will need to be filed with the court that currently has jurisdiction over your parenting time order. These types of Motions will be set on the Court’s regular docket and you will likely be ordered to mediation in an attempt to resolve your dispute before the Court will have a hearing on the issue. However, in extreme cases where the child is in imminent physical or emotional danger due to the parenting time or contact with the other parent, a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time may be appropriate and, if filed, the Court will expedite the matter and conduct a hearing within 14 days.
There are several legal and procedural rules that need to be followed if you are contemplating modifying parenting time. Because of this, you will want to seek legal advice prior to taking any legal action. Pollart and Miller LLC has an experienced team of family law attorneys, who are here to help you every step of the way!
Would you like to know more? Contact Denise Gonzales at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720.488.9586.