After a divorce involving children, the circumstances of one or both parents may change, and the terms of a child support or child custody order need to be amended to reflect those changes. While many parents feel it is too much trouble to go through the courts to modify such orders, sometimes, it is important to do so to protect the interests of the child. Talking with a reputable Englewood modification attorney can help alleviate concerns regarding modification needs.
Johnson Law Group is a well-qualified modification law firm with a focus on family law. Our many successful cases and dedication to the families we serve put our legal team ahead of the competition in Englewood, CO.
In reference to parenting time, the Colorado Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) defines modifications as acts that replace, change, supersede, or in some way alter previous decisions regarding child custody. While minor adjustments to one parent’s scheduled time with the child can be simply addressed without a modification of a court order, any substantial change or shift in the time one parent spends caring for the child does require a legally binding court order to protect the child’s interests.
There are many reasons why a parent would legitimately need to request a modification to an existing court order. Colorado family law requires parents requesting modifications to have substantial evidence that the modification is favorable to the child’s well-being. Unfortunately, some parents take advantage of the system out of spite toward their child’s other parent or for other self-serving reasons. Consulting with an experienced modification attorney can help parents determine if they have a legitimate reason for changing an order.
Some of the most common reasons families file a Motion to Modify parenting time orders include:
A child who is 14 years or older is requesting a parenting schedule modification.
It is important to consider how a modification of visitation or parenting time will affect an existing court order for child support. If circumstances are changing significantly enough that the paying parent’s child support payment would need to be adjusted, a modification for child support will also likely be necessary. Speaking with a qualified family law and modification attorney can shed light on whether a support modification is also necessary.
Many of the same reasons a family needs a parenting time modification are also reasons to modify a child support order. Any substantial and continuous change in either parent’s situation that would affect child support payments by 10% constitutes a need to modify a child support order through family courts. Besides a change in income, other factors that necessitate a change for a modification of a child support order include a change in daycare expenses, a new parenting schedule, or emancipation of the oldest child(ren), all of which could potentially be affected by a modification of parenting time.
In most cases, a parent who files a Motion to Modify visitation wishes to spend more time with their child. Unfortunately, though, some parents seek to modify custody to protect the child from a threat of imminent danger that is a result of spending time with the other parent. Colorado family court upholds the natural rights of both parents to play a part in raising their children. Therefore, the court will not diminish or restrict a child’s time with the other parent unless they find a legitimate threat of physical or mental harm. This includes behaviors and actions that impede the physical well-being or emotional development of the child.
Below are the stages of the process for filing for modification with the court:
A: A modification lawyer is a resource for navigating the Colorado court system. They are knowledgeable about the intricacies of ever-changing family law. A modification attorney assists clients in filing a Motion to Modify with the court, which many parents find overwhelming to go through on their own. A well-qualified modification lawyer offers invaluable advice and support throughout the modification process.
A: It is not legally necessary to hire a lawyer for a custody modification case. However, not having a lawyer can delay proceedings if you must resubmit your motion due to misfiling or if you have trouble getting a hold of certain evidence requested by the judge.
A: In Colorado, you can expect to pay a family law attorney by the hour for services such as child support modification. The average hourly rate is around $250 to $450, and most modification cases require about five hours of billable time, though some attorneys may charge a flat fee for custody cases.
A: Colorado family court charges a $105 fee to file a modification motion. Additional fees may apply for such things as serving the other parent or if a protective order needs to be filed. If mediation is needed, expect to pay an estimated $100 to $300 per hour for a mediator.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to modify your parenting time court order, having an experienced Englewood modification lawyer to help guide you through court proceedings can make the process easier. Contact Johnson Law Group today to discuss your case.