Denver Visitation Lawyers
Proven Denver Visitation Attorneys Ready To Serve You
In any family law case involving children, the most important parental responsibilities issue for most parents is the parenting time they get to spend with their children. Under Colorado law, both parents have a right to have a relationship with their kids. However, when parents divorce or split up, those rights are undefined until court orders regarding child custody and visitation are obtained.
Since 1999, the family law firm of Plog & Stein, P.C. has assisted thousands of parents regarding their rights to parenting time with their children. Our team of lawyers understands the significance of parenting time orders and the ramifications they can have for your relationship with your children. If you find yourself in the midst of a divorce or child custody case and are dealing with parenting time issues, contact us, today, to schedule an appointment with one of our Denver visitation lawyers. At Plog & Stein, P.C., when dealing with custody issues, our only goal is to protect and preserve your rights related to your children.
Hiring an Experienced Denver Visitation Lawyer Can Make the Difference
Our law firm understands that parenting time matters can extend well beyond the establishment of your initial visitation orders. Throughout the duration of kids’ childhood, the potential for future parenting time litigation exists. As such, we offer quality legal representation in all types of parenting time cases, including:
- Establishment of parenting time orders in your divorce or child custody case
- Modifications of parenting time due to a change circumstances
- Changes in primary residential custody
- Parenting time emergencies and motions to restrict parenting time
- Enforcement of parenting time orders
- Relocation cases
- Holiday and vacation parenting time
We recognize that parenting time issues may surface months or years after the initial orders enter in your case. Parenting time and custody orders run until a child turns 18 years of age. In light of this, it’s not uncommon to see modifications or other circumstances warranting the help of a lawyer well after you thought you were done with your case. As such, we take a proactive, long-term approach to your case, understanding that you may need reliable counsel regarding all child custody matters in the foreseeable future. Through it all, our goal is to protect the well-being of your family by providing the exceptional legal services you deserve.
Why Choose Plog & Stein, P.C.?
At Plog & Stein, P.C., our professionals strive to give full attention to any of your needs and objectives regarding parenting time. From the start of your case, we want to make sure your positions and concerns are heard by both the other parent and the court. We will work to get your parenting time case settled in an efficient and amicable fashion, recognizing that if things don’t settle, the contested issues will ultimately be decided by a judge. Equally skilled both in and out of the courtroom, we provide:
- A comprehensive analysis of your circumstances in order to devise a sound legal strategy for your parenting time proceedings.
- A team of family law issues lawyers who only have your best outcomes in mind, with open communication to address any questions and concerns you may have.
We are equally skilled at establishing initial parenting time orders or dealing with modifications of parenting time, after the initial part of the divorce or child custody case is done.
We understand the wide array of issues that may arise in litigation regarding parenting time, including statutory factors set forth in C.R.S. 14-10-124 related to the best interest of children. We also strive to know each court we practice in and what the judge in your case may be looking for when it comes to determining a visitation schedule.
We recognize that no case is the same and that each child is different. We will work to tailor our approach to directly reflect the circumstances in your case.
Each visitation case brings with it the potential need for a child expert, who will investigate and inform the court as to what is in the best interests of the children regarding visitation. These experts are generally referred to as Child and Family Investigators (C.R.S. 14-10-116.5) or Parental Responsibilities Evaluators (C.R.S. 14-10-127). Over the years, our legal team has taken the time to develop a familiarity with and understanding of the experts regularly appointed, with the goal of trying to match each case with the expert best suited to our clients’ needs. What these experts have to say can have an extreme impact on your parenting time or custody case. Our Denver visitation attorneys are experienced in this facet of parenting time litigation and are also ready to guide you through the evaluation process.
Establishing Parenting Time Orders
Plog & Stein, P.C. takes a logical, realistic approach to family law, including all matters of parenting time. We believe this approach allows our clients to make sound and informed decisions regarding how to proceed with their child visitation disputes.
- If you and the other parent are ultimately able to agree on a parenting time schedule, we will work to make sure a thorough and detailed schedule is drafted, which includes any information necessary to help you function with clarity in the future.
- When parents just can’t agree on a parenting time schedule, the case will ultimately proceed to a contested court hearing. At this stage, our attorneys understand the evidence and information the court finds relevant when making judicial decisions regarding the best interest of your children and parenting time.
The initial establishment of parenting time orders in your divorce or child custody case can have a lasting effect on future modifications, particularly as relates to primary residence. Though equal, 50/50 parenting time has become quite common in Colorado, it is not mandated. While courts often favor maximized time for both parents with the children, there may be valid reasons that need to be presented, such as safety or logistical concerns, which render equal time not in their best interest. The key in parenting time litigation is effectively presenting your arguments and evidence at trial.
When parents share equal parenting time, there is no primary residential custodian. When one parent is awarded majority time, the standard to change physical custody and primary parenting time is much higher. Understanding your legal rights and options regarding parenting time at the start of your case allows you to make those sound decisions. Whether your parenting time agreement case is contested or mutually agreed upon, we understand the wide array of issues that may arise. We strive to ensure that each client’s objective are identified, and met, tailoring our approach to directly reflect the unique circumstances in your case.
Plog & Stein, P.C. Can Help With Parenting Time Modifications
Our Denver parenting time lawyers understand that circumstances can change, and you may need to make modifications to your parenting time for a number of reasons:
- One parent is making a significant move to a new location.
- As the children get older, their wishes and needs for visitation may change.
- Safety issues, such as substance abuse may arise, warranting emergency action.
- There are concerns regarding the general well-being of the children involved.
Parenting time modifications are authorized pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129. At Plog & Stein, P.C., we not only help clients file to modify their parenting time, but also defend clients against motions to modify filed by the other party. We are equally adept at handling either side of a parenting time modification case.
Making an adjustment to your parenting time schedule may initially seem straightforward. However, the type of modification you are requesting will be subject to a specific legal standard. For example, while a basic modification of parenting time is going to be governed by the best interest standard, a modification which also changes residential custody will be governed under what attorney call “the endangerment standard.” Relocation cases come with their own set of criteria for the court to consider and emergency restrictions of parenting time are subject to a standard of “imminent danger.”
Our experienced Denver parenting time attorneys regularly handle each of these types of cases and are well aware of the statutory standard and procedures necessary to successfully advocate for your parenting time rights. We are well-versed in the nuances of parenting time modifications and readily use child custody experts to help strengthen your case. We will not only advise you on the best course of action for you to take when it comes to parenting time, but will also be there with quality representation at each step in the modification process. We understand that nothing matters more than the future of your children.
Holiday Parenting Time
How does a court set holiday visitation?
Do your child custody orders contain provisions for holiday time with your children? If so, are they written in a clear and concise manner such that they are easy to follow? If you answered “no” to either of these questions, we can help.
Regular parenting time schedules come in many formats, whether equal or the child residing the majority of the time with one of the parents. Regardless of what your orders might indicate regarding regular time, it is common, if not expected, for those orders to also include holiday time. Family law courts recognize the importance of holidays to parents, and more importantly to children. As such, should either party ask for there to be provisions for holiday time, a court most likely to grant such a request. Preferably, you find yourself in a situation in which you are just getting your new custody and parenting time orders established. If so, you have the opportunity to get holiday time in place right from the start. If you find yourself in a situation in which you already have orders in place, but those orders don’t contain adequate, or any, holiday provisions, you still have the ability to change things via a motion to modify parenting time pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129.
Each family is different and not everyone celebrates or prioritizes the same holidays. As such, there is no set, prescribed holiday schedule. However, there are normal holidays which will either typically be included in the schedule or which a court will readily address. In most cases, holiday time will also include break time from school, such as winter break, spring break, and fall break.
Normal one-day holidays might include Easter, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas or Hanukkah. When meeting with your holiday parenting time lawyers, it’s important that you make sure to let them know what holidays matter to both you and the other parent. In some cases, one party might not care about a holiday, such as Fourth of July, but may greatly value time at Easter. The hope is always that the parties are able to work out a schedule. If not, that’s where court and court hearings come in.
When crafting your holiday parenting time orders, the norm is that the given holidays are balanced between the parties in any given year. This is generally accomplished by dividing them up and alternating on an even/odd year basis. Winter breaks are generally to be two weeks long and are often divided, whereas spring or fall break will generally be one week, and alternated year to year. Though vacation time outside of the designated holidays is a different matter, it is quite common for the holiday schedule to contain some sort of orders regarding how vacations are dealt with as well. Generally, each parent shall have one or two weeks of vacation time with the kids each summer.
Getting the holidays ironed out and the schedule you want is certainly the core issue you may need to deal with. However, there are other aspects of holiday parenting time, tied into detail, which our holiday parenting time attorneys can help you with. To have a good, working visitation schedule, detail is essential. As relates to holidays, making sure there are stated start and stop times, as well as locations for doing the exchanges matters. Though holidays may seem like a lesser issue to deal with when formulating a parenting plan, they can become a point of contention when formulating orders or a point of contention when modifying or interpreting them. When dealing with the issue of holidays, we recognize the importance of specificity and the problems that vague or ambiguous orders can bring. In light of such, crafting well written parenting time orders is one of the many services our firm provides.
When Can My Kids Decide They Don’t Want To Go for Visitation?
This is perhaps the most common question asked by people in relation to modifying visitation, or residential custody as their kids get older. People often call our office with the belief that kids get to decide at 12 or 13. Because of that belief, they will call asking things like, “Sally is 12 right now and hates to go to her dad’s. She can decide not to go, right?” or “My 13-year-old says she wants 50/50 visitation. The court will give me that even if her dad says no, right?” In reality, there is no specific age set forth in statute. In reality, when kids start reaching 14, and more likely 15 or 16, most judges will put a much greater weight on the child’s wishes in terms of visitation or residential custody. It is not uncommon as kids reach their middle to upper teenage years that they may want to spend more time with the other parent, or even change residence all together. Though the legal standards set forth in a prior answer still apply, most courts recognize that you can’t force a 16-year-old to be where he or she does not want to be. You can still get a 12-year-old to follow a visitation schedule. As kids get older, both parents should recognize that their wishes may be factored into any modification of visitation request.
Working to Ensure Your Parenting Time Orders Are Enforced
Unfortunately, not all people follow orders, including the court-ordered parenting plan. Most Denver family law courts take violations of parenting time orders extremely seriously. The Denver parenting time attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. do, too. Fortunately, Colorado statute, C.R.S. 14-1-129.5, sets forth an array or remedies designed to address parenting time violations. When parenting time orders are violated, available measures to correct the situation include:
- Make up parenting time
- Attorney fees and costs
- Monetary bonds to be forfeited upon future violations
- Potential modifications of parenting time
- Contempt of court
If you’re not receiving your court-order parenting time we can help. If you’re not receiving your court-ordered parenting time, don’t wait to assert your rights. Any denial of parenting time should at least be quickly addressed with the other parent or their lawyer. As with any family law litigation, documentation and evidence are needed to prove your case.
Sometimes, a parent engaged in parental alienation may even deny all parenting time to the other parent, depriving them of weeks, months, or years of time with their children. Waiting too long to address the concern can leave you in a precarious position.
Our Denver parenting time lawyers understand the seriousness of these violations and fight for your right to time with your kids. We have significant experience dealing with enforcing all parenting time orders, including taking the other parent to trial and seeking attorney fees, if necessary. We understand what it takes to effectively present your case to the court and are committed to fighting for the best interests of your children.
We Can Help With All Your Parenting Time and Child Custody Needs. Contact Us Today.
At Plog & Stein, P.C., we want to help you take the guesswork out of the child custody and parenting time modification process. With more than 70 years of combined legal experience, we understand the steps necessary to effectively help your establish your parenting time rights, or file a modification to a custody agreement.
Our skilled family attorneys can also support with the following cases: