If a child custody arrangement isn’t working, either parent has the right to petition for a hearing to change it. Modifying a custody order will require a Colorado court to believe any change is in the child’s best interests and not necessarily yours. You will need to show that a substantial change in your circumstances makes a modification necessary.
Common reasons for a modification
Here are examples of why the court will consider changing a custody order.
- Child is being abused
- A parent’s managing a substance abuse issue
- One parent is engaging in acts of domestic violence
- A home environment is unstable
- One parent wants to relocate with the child
- A child over 12 years old wants a change
- A serious medical condition prevents a parent from providing care
- The child is being neglected or abandoned
- Custodial parent’s constantly moving, changing jobs or is often absent
- The household’s income has dropped significantly
- Custodial parent consistently makes child unavailable for visitation
The modification process
In Colorado, you’re only allowed changes in child custody order every 24 months. But there are exceptions to the rule:
- You are requesting a change in the child’s main residence.
- There is evidence the child’s emotional state or health is in danger.
How to file a child custody modification
Fill out Form 1415. The content to a stipulation and you have to check the right options to get your motion filed properly. You have to submit Form 1415 with the same court that originally created the child support orders. Only this court can make modifications.
If custody modifications impact child support, you also have to complete and file a motion to change the support agreement.
The court will notify the other parent about the petition. The court will review the motion within 49 days of filing. The court decides one of two things: to schedule a hearing or make a ruling without a hearing.
We understand how stressful it can be to see your children living under standards you never intended. Family law wants to keep children safe but legalities often get in the way. It’s why a parent has to have some understanding of child custody laws.