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Modifying child custody orders is not easy

Every divorce is different. You and your spouse may have generously compromised on every issue, or you may have resisted each other to the very end, fighting for your rights in a heated litigation. Even if your divorce was not long and painful, you likely wouldn't want to go through it again.

Still, you aren't alone if you are beginning to feel that the custody arrangement you and your spouse agreed upon at the settlement is not working any longer. The fact is that life goes on, and that often means changes. Additionally, there may be critical concerns about the way the custody order is playing out, and you wonder if it is worth going back to court for a modification.

Reasons for seeking a modification

Modification of child custody or child support orders is the only legal way to change the current situation. You and your spouse may be able to come to an agreement together, but such agreements are not legally binding unless a judge sanctions them.

Keeping in mind that the main concern in child custody orders is the well-being of the child, requesting changes for your own convenience may not win you favor with the judge. In fact, you will have to present evidence to a Colorado family court that the change will benefit the child, especially if your co-parent disagrees with the request for modification. Some reasons why the court may seriously consider your request for modification include the following:

  • The custodial parent has died, and you want the court to consider granting you full physical custody.
  • Your children are growing, and their parental needs are changing.
  • Your co-parent is not abiding by the current custody order.
  • You believe your children are in immediate danger from circumstances at the other parent's home.
  • Your children express fear or reluctance to go with the other parent.
  • You are planning to relocate with the children.

Relocation is a delicate matter, and the courts are hesitant to approve relocation plans that unreasonably separate the children from their other parent. A judge will scrutinize your reasons for moving and will take into consideration the disruption of your child's life that such a move will cause.

If you and your co-parent are able to arrive at an acceptable visitation schedule to present to the court, you may have a better chance of winning approval for your relocation and custody modification. In fact, the challenges of obtaining a modification to your custody orders can be minimized with open communication between you and your co-parent and the assistance of an experienced family law attorney.

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