Is it Possible to Modify a Parenting Time Agreement?

Creating a parenting plan that determines when a child spends time with each parent is one of the most important aspects of a divorce. It can also be one of the most challenging because it requires working within the schedules of each parent, as well as the child(ren). The busier a family is, the tougher it is to create a parenting time arrangement that works for everyone.

Complicating matters even further, if a change occurs in either parent’s life or if the child’s needs dictate a change, adjustments might need to be made to the parenting plan. In some cases, the court determines it would be in the best interest of the child to have changes made to the time that he or she spends with either parent. What can cause the need for a parenting time modification?

According to C.R.S. § 14-10-129(1)(a)(I):

Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (b) of this subsection (1), the court may make or modify an order granting or denying parenting time rights whenever such order or modification would serve the best interests of the child.

Parents can request a change to the parenting agreement. In some cases, both parents will agree to the modification and the court will need to do very little except to approve the parents’ agreement.

Sometimes one parent must relocate outside of Colorado, which can affect the allocation of parenting time and responsibilities. If a parent must relocate, the court requires both parents to attend a hearing on modification and will take the following factors into consideration when determining how parenting time will be modified:

(c) …the court shall take into account all relevant factors, including whether a party has committed an act of domestic violence, has engaged in a pattern of domestic violence, or has a history of domestic violence, as that term is defined in section 14-10-124 (1.3), which factor shall be supported by a preponderance of the evidence, and shall consider such domestic violence whether it occurred before or after the prior decree, and all other factors enumerated in section 14-10-124 (1.5) (a) and:

(I) The reasons why the party wishes to relocate with the child;
(II) The reasons why the opposing party is objecting to the proposed relocation;
(III) The history and quality of each party’s relationship with the child since any previous parenting time order;
(IV) The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(V) The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
(VI) Any advantages of the child remaining with the primary caregiver;
(VII) The anticipated impact of the move on the child;
(VIII) Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the change requested is permitted; and
(IX) Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child

If you have questions about parenting time or a change must be made to your current parenting time agreement, we can help. Contact Montgomery Little & Soran, P.C. at 303-773-8100.