Restricted Parenting Time
A parent may become concerned that their child’s other parent poses a physical or emotional threat to the child. This concern may arise in instances of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or domestic violence. If you are worried about your child’s well-being and safety, you may be interested in seeking restricted parenting time. Conversely, there are situations in which a child’s parent unfairly files a motion to restrict the parenting time of the other parent. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our Denver child custody lawyers can help you evaluate your situation to determine whether filing a motion to restrict is appropriate or whether there are better alternatives. We provide tenacious representation to parents on either side of a restriction matter.
Restricted Parenting Time
Under C.R.S. § 14-10-129(4), you may file an emergency motion to restrict parenting time. There are standards and procedures to ask the court to restrict parenting time when a child faces an imminent danger as a result of the other parent or their parenting time. This type of motion should be filed sparingly because it is only for situations in which a child is truly threatened or endangered. You could possibly lose credibility with the court if you misuse this motion, which makes it important to retain an attorney who has a good sense of what the court is likely to see as an imminent danger.
When filing a motion to restrict parenting time, you will need to prove that there is a physical or emotional danger and that it is imminent, meaning that the endangering event happened recently. You need to act quickly after something serious happens because if you wait too long, the threat is not likely to be considered “imminent” any longer. The law does not specify what counts as a danger, and the court has the discretion to determine whether the actions that you think are a danger do actually put the child at risk. Judges in Colorado tend to be careful when interpreting the other parent’s behavior because it is presumed that a child benefits from interacting substantially with both parents, and both parents have a right to parent their children.
Once you file a motion to restrict parenting time, the court is likely to review it in the subsequent 24 hours. If the motion is granted, the other parent’s parenting time is restricted until a full hearing can be held (parenting time is also restricted upon filing, which can be altered depending on the court’s initial review). This means that the parenting time will only happen when an appropriate third party is able to supervise it. Pursuant to statute, the hearing shall happen within the next 14 days from filing. At the hearing, the parents can present evidence and argue their positions. The court will decide whether to grant the motion, put less restrictive limits on parenting time than what was proposed, or deny the motion.
If the court denies this type of motion, you will need to stick with the existing parenting time order. If the court finds that a motion to restrict parenting time was brought for frivolous reasons, no reason, or to bother the other parent, it may order that attorneys’ fees and costs be paid to the nonmoving party.
Sometimes, it is wiser to file a motion to modify parenting time if the problems that you perceive are not so bad that they imminently endanger the child. An experienced family law attorney in Denver can evaluate whether it may be wiser to file a motion to modify parenting time or file a motion to restrict parenting time.
Consult a Knowledgeable Lawyer for a Parenting Time Issue
If you are concerned about a situation involving restricted parenting time, you should call us. At Plog & Stein, P.C., our divorce attorneys understand our clients’ needs and provide vigorous representation to help them further their goals in custody and divorce cases. Let us put our 70 years of combined legal experience to work for you. Contact Plog & Stein, P.C. at (303) 781-0322 or via our online form for an appointment with a custody modification lawyer. We also represent parents in Aurora, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock, as well as other areas of Denver, Douglas, and Arapahoe Counties.