In Colorado, when there is a child custody order and a decision-making responsibility, it is important for parents to remember that these are not set in stone never to be changed. In some cases, a modification is necessary or desired. The parents must understand how and why this will be done based on the law. Not all cases will be contentious. Some are amicable. Regardless of the situation, having a grasp on what the law says and having legal assistance is critical to a case.
When there is a motion to modify custody or decision-making, it cannot be done again for two years. This is true whether the request was granted or not. This is not applicable if the court has reason to believe that the previous decree impacts the child's safety and he or she is in danger in any way. The court will not change the decree for custody or the decree allocating decision-making responsibility except in cases where the facts indicate a change in circumstances or there were facts the court did not know when the prior order was made. The modification must be needed to serve the child's best interests.
The court will not change decision-making responsibility from the past decree except in the following cases: there is agreement that the decision-making responsibility be modified; the petitioner's family has integrated the child and the other party has consented to it putting a modification of the responsibilities in the child's best interests; there was a visitation schedule modification that makes it necessary to change decision-making responsibilities under the law; the party has consented in a consistent manner to the other party making decisions for the child; or the child will be put in danger if the decision-making responsibility remains the same.
With any family law issue, there are complications and changes that arise. These can involve a range of issues. Two of the most important are child custody and the allocation of decision-making responsibility. When changes are necessary - whether the couple is in dispute or not - it is essential to have legal assistance from a law firm that handles all aspects of family law from child custody to a visitation schedule to parental responsibility and child support. Calling for a consultation and being protected is key.