Child Custody Modification
When a child custody/parenting time agreement is reached in a divorce proceeding, it’s not always set in stone. For many families, changes must be made to a child custody/visitation agreement due to job changes, re-marriages, and geographical relocations. Sometimes, the child simply wants to spend more or less time with a parent, or has changes in her extracurricular activities that warrant an adjustment. In more extreme circumstances, child custody modification may be necessary if a spouse has developed a drug or alcohol problem, has been arrested, or has abused or neglected the children.
The Colorado court system takes requests for child custody and visitation modifications very seriously, and you must have a very good reason to request a change in the parenting agreement. If you are the primary parent and discover a reason to request a modification to the custody agreement, you must contact your Colorado divorce lawyer and explain your concerns. You will then discuss options for changes in the child custody or visitation agreement and proceed to court if and when necessary.
For most changes in visitation modifications, you must prove that the child’s best interests support your request. However, for modifications that seek to change the child’s primary residence from one parent to another, a far higher burden of proof is required.
Colorado law limits the granting of a change in primary residence to five reasons:
- Both parties agree to the modification
- The child has been integrated into the family of the party requesting the modification
- There has been a modification of parenting time
- A party has consistently consented to the other party making decisions
- The present situation would endanger the child’s physical or emotional development, and the advantages to changing the child’s environment will outweigh the likely harm to the child as a result of having their environment changed.