Divorce brings significant changes to a person’s life, and sometimes these changes don’t stop once the process is final. The terms of your child custody order served your Colorado family well for awhile, but lately things are not working as smoothly. Life changes, and you may be wondering if your child custody order should change as well.
There are times when it is possible and appropriate to seek a modification to a child custody order. If you think this is the best step for your family, you may want to start by learning more about how to make that happen. You are entitled to protect the best interests of your children and your parental rights, and this may come in the form of seeking changes to your current custody and visitation plan.
Time for a change
Whether you and the other parent agree that a modification is in the best interests of the child or you will need to fight for appropriate changes in court, it’s prudent to know what is considered grounds for a modification. The ultimate goal and main consideration of a family court is the best interests of the child above all else. A court will not needlessly disrupt a child’s routine and lifestyle due to petty disagreements or minor issues.
A court will likely grant modifications when there is evidence of domestic violence or circumstances that may lead to a child’s physical harm. It may also grant a modification if a child is able to express that he or she no longer wants to live in questionable or potentially harmful conditions. Other grounds for modification include parents moving, the child’s changing needs or other reasons unique to the family.
In court or out?
When two parents are able to agree on the terms of a modification to an existing child custody order, they will not have to fight over this issue in court. However, any formal change to a custody or visitation plan is subject to approval and review by a family court.
Certain circumstances, such as the death of a parent or refusal to abide by the terms of an existing custody plan, may be grounds for a modification as well. If you think that a change is necessary for any reason, you may want to first speak to an attorney about your concerns before you move forward. An assessment of your case can help you see what options may be available to you.