In regards to making child custody decisions, family law courts in Colorado encourage safe and supportive living arrangements over disruptive changes.
Are you seeking to change an existing court order for child custody? That request will be granted only if there is a marked change of conditions which points to one concern: is it in the child’s best interest to switch custody from one parent to the other?
When altering an existing custody agreement, the court usually reflects on five elements:
- Both adults agree to the modification;
- The child being integrated into the family of the party who is asking for modification;
- There being a parenting time alternation;
- One adult routinely agreeing to the other adult making individual decisions for the child;
- The present living situation possibly endangering the child’s emotional or physical development, with the benefits of changing the child’s environment outweighing the harm that changing the the child’s environment might do.
Once the basis of your modification of child custody has been recognized, you may file a motion or petition to modify child custody. To get that form on-line, go to www.courts.state.co.us and click on the tab labeled “Forms”. All forms, available in both Word and PDF format, can be found by selecting the “Divorce, Family Matters, Civil Unions” option, then “Custody & Child Support”, and then “Modify Child Custody”. You can either fill these forms online and print them out, or print them first and type or print clearly in black ink.
Remember that only the court that originated the orders about your child in the first place can decide on child custody modifications. If your child has relocated to another state or county, you will still need to file a motion to reopen the first child custody suit, but you must also file a request to switch the case to where your child now resides since the forum will follow the child. Once filed, a copy of the motion should be served to the other parent
Once the child custody case reopens, what happens next is something resembling the initial child custody process. You may files a request for temporary orders, file discovery motions, and also request for a final hearing in a last effort to show that you deserve child custody.
This time, though, you must establish that because of a significant change in conditions, it is in the best interest of your child to leave the other parent and move into your place of residence.
There is a final hearing. At this time the court rules. You then must put together a written order altering child custody that echoes this ruling, with your choice of wording being very important. You may have difficulty enforcing the order later on if it is not in written form. Consult with a competent family law attorney if you need help.
Irrespective of whether you chose to meet with an attorney for your original child custody case, it may be in your best interests to consult with one now to make sure the order modifying child custody is properly done. If it not, you may find yourself accidentally waiving some rights in your new custody arrangement.
As with anywhere else, modifying child custody in Colorado can be a confusing process that requires well-crafted arguments and substantial proof in order to successfully convince a court that a change in custody is in the child’s best interests. The services of an experienced child custody attorney could be crucial to ensuring that a modification order that reflects your wishes and the child’s best interests is granted accurately.