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Why do people go back to court to change their custody order?


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When parents in Colorado divorce, they have to figure out how to divide their parental rights and responsibilities. If parents can’t negotiate a settlement on their own outside of court, a judge can determine what the best way is to allocate those responsibilities and rights.

The outcome of either collaborative negotiations or litigation will be court orders instructing parents about specific ways to share parenting time, decision-making authority, and financial responsibility for their children. Court orders related to divorce carry the full weight of the Colorado judicial system behind them. That means that both parents have to make a concerted effort to comply with those orders.

Eventually, one or even both of the parents will start to feel like the parenting time and support arrangements don’t really work for the family anymore. When that happens, they can file a hearing to request a formal custody modification.

What are common reasons for modifying custody orders?

Family circumstances change quickly in the modern world. People remarry and get new jobs. Children start new grades at school and eventually begin their own extracurricular pursuits, like sports.

Your personal or family situation will need to change in some meaningful and provable way that a modification is necessary. Losing a job, getting a promotion, transferring to a different job or adding new obligations to the family schedule could all be reasons to formally modify your custody order.

Those changes could make compliance with your custody order difficult or might even limit one parent’s access to the children. Although you and your ex can always reach personal agreements about switching up parenting time schedules, making my changes official with the modification give the entire family more protection and stability.

You can cooperate or possibly litigate your modifications

Just like your initial court filing for divorce, a modification can be uncontested or contested. If you and your ex can reach an agreement about what changes are necessary before you file, going to court is just a formality to make those updates official. If you don’t agree, a contested modification filing will lead to a judge ruling on the issue.

Updating custody and support orders can help make shared parenting after a Colorado divorce work better for your family.

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