When does the court allow child custody modifications?

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2023 | Child Custody & Support |

Developing a child custody agreement between spouses splitting up in Colorado is one of the most essential parts of a divorce for those with children. However, one spouse will sometimes request future modifications due to changing circumstances. The court will generally only allow modifications under specific circumstances.

A child’s best interests still apply

Courts will deny custody modifications if the agreement appears to work well for both parents. In other words, if the court believes your reason is frivolous, they will deny the request.

The following are typical reasons for requesting a custody modification:

  • Your child is in danger by being with the other parent
  • Physical relocation of one parent
  • The visitation schedule has been ignored
  • Death of the custodial parent

Child endangerment is the most serious issue. The court will examine whether domestic violence has occurred in one home or whether another factor, such as drug abuse, has occurred. The court will also investigate the reasons why a child refuses to go to one parent’s home.

Similarly, if one parent moves far away, the court will investigate the reasons for doing so and how it renders a current visitation schedule unworkable. Sometimes, other factors render original visitation schedules ineffective. You can expect similar scrutiny from the court regarding why one parent doesn’t follow the agreed-upon schedule.

Working our necessary custody changes

Returning to court to work out custody modifications can be expensive. If you find your ex-spouse acting unreasonably, consider resorting to alternative negotiation tactics to resolve the situation. Using a mediator to devise a solution can be less expensive than going to court. It will also help you achieve an equitable solution instead of having a judge decide for you.

However, some situations, such as child endangerment, may require a trip to court to resolve the issue. The death of one of the spouses may need an appearance, too, if only to formalize where the child or children will live. In the latter situation, the court generally prefers that the children remain with the non-custodial parent to achieve consistency and maintain a relationship.