When a parenting time schedule is issued as part of a Court order, the parents are bound to follow it. A parenting time schedule put in place when a child is young, however, may not be workable once the child is older. As the child grows and his or her needs and interests become more involved, the parenting plan may need to be adjusted.
In Colorado, a Court-ordered parenting plan can be changed upon a motion or stipulation to modify it. Ideally, the parents would have discussed the change and come to an agreement on a new parenting schedule that will work best for the child. Such an agreement is then submitted to the Court using a stipulation regarding parenting time modification to be made a new order of parenting time.
If the parents cannot agree on a modified parenting time, the parents can file a motion to modify, which the Court will oversee. Most likely, the Court will order that the parents participate in mediation to try and come to a compromise. If mediation is not successful, the parents will go before the Court and make arguments as to why their parenting schedule is in the best interest of the child. The Court will then make a decision and issue a new parenting plan.
It is important to understand that if a motion or stipulation has been filed for a substantial modification of parenting time that changes the parent with whom the child resides a majority to time another motion to modify the parenting plan may be filed within two years unless there is a belief the child’s environment may endanger his or her physical health or emotional development. This rule applies even if the previous motion was not granted by the Court.
If you are looking to modify your current parenting time and want to do so at an affordable, flat fee, schedule your consultation today.
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Lauren Lester is an affordable family law, estate planning, and probate lawyer licensed in Colorado.