#1 Change by Agreement
In Colorado, you can change child custody in a couple of different ways. First of all, you can do it by agreement. I’ve seen cases when children grow older their custody agreement was changed to fit more with their school activities, to fit more where they are in life, and how much time they want to need with one parent or another.
I’ve seen many couples that were able to make custody agreement changes on their own without a mediator or court. This requires the couple to draw up something that we call a stipulation, and that stipulation would be signed by both parties. The signing of the stipulation would modify the child custody agreement and then sent to the court to become an order of the court. That is a very inexpensive thing to do if you can speak to one another and be congenial about it. The only work an attorney would need to do is make sure it was written up correctly.
#2 Motion To The Court For Modification
The second way to modify a child custody agreement in Colorado is to file a motion to the court for modification. After you’ve been divorced and you have your child custody orders, you certainly can do a motion to modify. I would recommend you don’t do it right away unless an event has occurred resulting in a change that makes sense to do it right away. Typically speaking, it would be after the custody arrangement had been in place for a while and you were looking to modify and there was a good reason to modify.
You can file a motion for modification. The standard the court is going to use is what’s in the best interest of the children, which is the lowest of the standards. You can ask the Court for a modification.
I’ve seen this method done as children get older and one parent feels that the custody arrangements are insufficient and now that the children are older, they want more time with the children. They do a motion to modify custody for that reason; that the child is older and can spend more time and it would be in the best interest of the child to spend more time with that particular parent. That’s a motion to modify parenting time.
One caveat, once you do a motion to modify, there’s a two-year moratorium on doing another one. They don’t want people coming in to modify custody agreements all the time, so there is a two-year period of time before you can do another motion to modify. Again, sub-caveat is if there’s some sort of endangerment, you can always bring a motion to modify if there’s the level of endangerment and it needs to be addressed right away. That two-year moratorium doesn’t affect it if you have a real concern over safety and endangerment of your child. That’s a motion to restrict parenting time.
The third way to modify parenting time, just to cover all bases here, is a relocation. If one parent is going to move out-of-state, let’s say, or move in-state but far enough away that it would have to significantly change parenting time, that would be the third way that you would bring a modification is a motion to relocate.
That in and of itself is an entire video, how that works, how difficult it is to get a relocation agreement, and all of the law surrounding it, and there is quite a bit of law surrounding a motion to relocate. Suffice it to say, for this video, that is the third way that one would modify parenting time. As you can tell logically, if you’re going to move out of state, you’re going to have to address parenting time that will have to change due to the distance. For more information about modifying parenting time, filing for divorce, how divorce works, or any other family law matters in Colorado, call us at 303-329-3802.