Improving personal circumstances can lead to more parenting time

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Child Custody & Visitation |

A judge deciding how to split parental rights and responsibilities has to think carefully about the needs of the children in a family. In some cases, a judge may decide that one adult’s unstable circumstances leave them incapable of meeting the children’s needs consistently.

If someone doesn’t have a safe and clean place to live, if they don’t currently have appropriate income or if they struggle with substance abuse issues, a judge might significantly limit their parenting time. It is also sometimes possible for an adult to voluntarily agree to custody terms that limit their access to the children because they know they aren’t currently in a position to parent.

If someone who had struggled with personal issues is now in a better situation, can they use that as a reason to modify their existing custody order?

Judges want what is best for the children

Custody modifications are an option when there has been a significant change in personal circumstances. Typically, people need to wait at least two years from the last modification hearing to request an update to custody arrangements unless there is an emergency. Provided that there is evidence of a significant change, someone who has improved their circumstances could convince a judge to increase their parenting time. Judges want what is best for the children, and encouraging both parental relationships is often what is best.

Oftentimes, someone who has worked to improve their circumstances can update or modify their custody order by cooperating with their co-parent. So long as the other adult agrees that a parent has improved their circumstances, it might be possible to cooperate for an uncontested custody modification. A co-parent might agree to increase someone’s time with the children or allow them to have overnight stays once they have obtained a place to live, secured a decent job or undergone treatment for issues that affected their parenting previously.

Those who have gone through a difficult personal time often find that their love of their children could be the most profound motivator for improving their circumstances. Even if their co-parent isn’t cooperative, a judge could rule in their favor during a modification hearing. Requesting a Colorado custody modification is often a reasonable culmination of someone’s concerted efforts to improve their situation. Parents who overcome challenging circumstances can potentially be more present for their children after doing so.