As a Colorado parent who shares parenting time and decision-making authority with your ex, you have to abide by the custody order approved by the court. You and your ex may have spent quite some time planning a schedule for shared custody, or you may have spent thousands of dollars to litigate your custody dispute and have a judge create a parenting plan.
The law in Colorado requires that the two of you abide by that plan and work cooperatively for the benefit of your children. You typically need to show up on time for custody exchanges and effectively communicate with your ex about the needs of the children.
Eventually, you may recognize that you need to change your parenting plan to make it better fit your family circumstances. What might that process entail?
You can cooperate with the other parent
The longer it has been since your initial custody dispute, the more likely it is that you and your ex have improved your relationship. You may both agree that the current schedule or division of parenting time doesn’t work well for your family.
Your ex may cooperate with you when you want more time with the children, especially if your ex has recently changed jobs or added new children to their family. It is possible to request a child custody modification by cooperating in family court. You can propose any major changes in writing and then have a judge update your parenting plan accordingly.
However, it is frequently the case that parents who share custody don’t fully agree on the best schedule or ratio for sharing time. What happens when you don’t agree about the need for changes?
You can file a contested request as well
You can ask for a modification any time there has been a significant change in your circumstances. However, if your ex does not agree with the suggested changes, then you will need to demonstrate to a Colorado family law judge that making those contested changes would be in the best interest of the children in your family. You may be able to make a compelling case to the courts for more time with your children and more say in their lives, especially when you have improved your circumstances significantly.
Understanding the process of securing a custody modification can help those who don’t currently believe their parenting plan works for the family.