3 signs that it may be time to modify parenting arrangements

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2024 | Child Custody & Support |

After the Colorado family courts allocate parental rights and responsibilities, co-parents have to uphold the court order that applies to their situation. Even though it may be difficult to do so, they need to share parenting time and work with each other to make decisions for their children.

Either parent could potentially go back to court seeking enforcement assistance if the other becomes non-compliant with the current parenting arrangement. Occasionally, parents may even seek to officially adjust or modify the arrangements for their families.

Many people do not want to rock the boat, especially if their co-parenting relationship has finally started to work properly. However, sometimes modifying an existing arrangement is what is best for the family. When is it potentially a good move for parents to modify their custody arrangements?

When adjustments become a regular issue

Small scheduling disruptions arise in every family, and parents can make adjustments to respond to a child’s absence from school due to illness or their desire to attend a friend’s birthday party. However, if there have been major changes to the schedules of family members, adjustments may become a regular issue. If parents have to frequently discuss changing custody arrangements, that could be a sign that it is time to update the order according to the new schedules.

When the existing plan is more than two years old

In Colorado, the law limits how frequently parents can go back to court seeking custody modifications. Doing this helps prevent scenarios in which one person uses the legal system to abuse the other emotionally or financially. Typically, unless there are serious issues that require emergency consideration, the courts do not hear modification requests unless two years or more have passed since the initial custody order or the last modification hearing.

When there are concerns about child safety

Both parents typically want what is best for their children, but not every adult consistently acts in a child’s best interests. Even loving parents can let mental health challenges, job stress or addiction interfere with their parenting. When there is evidence of abuse or neglect at one home, the other parent may need to ask a judge to modify the existing division of parental rights and responsibilities for the protection of the children. Typically, anyone seeking a modification needs evidence that there has been a substantial change in family circumstances.

Custody modifications often occur after people have moved on from the initial emotional trauma of the divorce. It can be easier to prioritize what is best for the children once time has passed. Recognizing when it may be time to update custody arrangements can potentially benefit everyone in a family.