The ideal situation when a Colorado couple has divorced and has children is that they agree to put their differences aside and work together in the child's best interests. Part of that is adhering to a reasonable visitation schedule so both parents will be in the child's life. However, there are few ideal situations and even amicable partings can become contentious. One issue that can be troublesome is if there is a dispute with parenting time. Understanding what the law says about this is key to dealing with it.
There will be a verified motion by the parent who is not having his or her visitation rights adhered to. Within 35 days of the filing, the court will decide if there was noncompliance and if it is continuing. It can then do one of the following: deny the motion saying that the allegation is not sufficient to act; it can schedule a hearing and inform the parents of when and where it will take place; or it can compel the parties to take part in mediation and be informed of the results of the mediation within 63 days.
Once the hearing has been held, should a parent be found to have failed to comply with the visitation schedule or the court order, the court can do the following: issue an order that adds terms and conditions to the prior order with child support and parenting being separate with child support not hinging on parenting time; there can be an order to modify the previous orders to serve the child's best interests; there can be an order for the parents to take part in parental education classes or family counseling; there can be an order for the violating parent to post bond of security to encourage compliance; there can be an order that requires the parent who did not get the parenting time that makeup parenting time be given; there can be a hearing to modify the order; or there can be other orders to serve the child's best interests.
Visitation rights and adhering to the schedule is important for the parents and the child. If there are extenuating circumstances, simply choosing not to adhere to the order is a violation. It is important for parents who are having a dispute over a visitation schedule to understand their rights and that the court can make sure their visitation is granted. A law firm that understands all family law issues from divorce to child support to visitation rights and more can help.