Westminster Parenting Time Modification Lawyer
While it is very important to help your children be comfortable with spending time with your ex-spouse after a divorce, sometimes it’s necessary to seek a modification of visitation rights (known as “parenting time”) with the courts. If you are seeking a modification of parenting time, the Westminster parenting time modification lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. are well-versed in handling these sensitive situations, and we can help you seek the best parenting time arrangement possible for you and your children. Long term changes to your visitation schedule and short term emergency modifications are two entirely different things. Our attorneys are well equipped to deal with either scenario, with decades of experience dealing with almost any conceivable parenting time situation.
Understanding Modification of Parenting Time in Colorado
There are many reasons to seek a change to visitation arrangements either previously agreed to or ordered by the court at hearing. Custody and parenting time are issues that remain within a court’s jurisdiction until the child reaches 18 years old. Many things can change in the lives of both parents and children over that many years, and Colorado courts understand that issues can arise. Changes to parenting time are covered under statute, C.R.S. 14-10-129. Just like all other aspects of custody, any modifications to parenting time must be done based on the best interests of the child. Our Denver parenting time modification lawyers can guide Colorado residents through this process.
A parent may want to seek changes to visitation arrangements based on a number of factors, but the most common include:
- When circumstances or relationships fundamentally change between a child and parent.
- When one parent relocates a significant geographic distance from the other.
- When one parent develops substance abuse or mental health issues affecting parenting time.
- When one parent demonstrates an inability to effectively handle the significant tasks necessary to raise a child.
- When children get older and perhaps no longer wish to spend the same time with each parent.
- When schedules and logistics just no longer work.
- When one parent believes the child spending more time with them is in their best interest.
As children get older and become teenagers, the courts understand that they will want a greater say in where they live and how they spend their time. Unlike some states, there is no set age in Colorado in which a judge will let a child decide the visitation schedule. However, at the age of 15 or 16, courts will put a greater weight on a child’s wishes, including as relates to modification of visitation.
Unfortunately, people also sometimes encounter situations in which their children do not want go to their other parent for parenting time. Whether you are the custodial parent or non-custodial parent, this situation needs to be handled with great care. It can be extraordinarily difficult to send your child into a situation where they express discomfort, but orders are orders and must generally be followed unless modified.
Though having good communication with the other parent can be key to navigating parenting time issues, realistically not all parents get along or demonstrate a level of mutual cooperation. You do not want to be accused of attempting to alienate your children from the other parent by not following the visitation orders. On the other side of the coin, if you suspect the other party is working to alienate your child against you, there are legal remedies to address the situation.
The circumstances of any modification case get complicated and messy, particularly when substance abuse, mental health issues, or a bad environment could be negatively affect your child. The attorneys at Plog & Stein, P.C. routinely work with custody and visitation experts, whether Child and Family Investigators or Parental Responsibilities Evaluators, both of whom can thoroughly analyze a case and issue a written report, which includes recommendations related to visitation. We understand what the court is looking for when it comes time to make a modification determination, as well as the preparation needed when the time comes to either negotiate a new schedule or take your matter to trial.
Discuss Your Case with a Parenting Time Modification Attorney in Westminster
At Plog & Stein, P.C., we serve families seeking modifications of parenting time in Westminster and throughout the Denver metro area. We take pride in keeping abreast of the legal standards regarding custody and making sure our clients understand their options before moving forward. If you are seeking a change to your parenting time schedule or defending against a modification filed by the other party, having the right family law firm matters. Call us at 303-781-0322 or contact us to set up an appointment with a Westminster parenting time modification attorney today.