Standard for Modification in Colorado
Under C.R.S. 14-10-129, the standard to modify child custody/visitation ("parenting time") in Colorado is generally whether the change is in the best interests of the children. However, if the requested modification would also change the majority residential parent, a Colorado court can only change it if new facts have arisen since the original decree, and:
- The parties agree to the modification,
- The child has been integrated into the moving party's family with the consent of the other party,
- The majority residential parent is seeking to relocate with the children, or
- The present environment endangers the child's physical health or significantly impairs the child's emotional development, and the advantage of changing residence outweighs any harm such a change would cause.
Limitation on Modification
A parent cannot file a motion to modify parenting time which also seeks to change the majority residential parent within two years after a prior motion to modify the majority parent has been ruled on, absent endangerment. C.R.S. 14-10-129(1.5).
Restriction of Parenting Time
A parent can seek, under C.R.S. 14-10-129(4), to restrict the other's parenting time by filing a motion alleging a child would be in imminent physical or emotional danger due to the parenting time. By filing the motion, the other's parenting time is automatically required to be supervised for a seven-day period, during which the court must hold a "forthwith" hearing and rule on the motion to restrict parenting.
If the court fails to conduct a hearing within seven days, the requirement that the other's parenting is restricted is automatically terminated. In re: Marriage of Slowinski & Pagnozzi, 05CA 2523 (Colo. App. 2008). If, at the hearing, the court concludes that the motion was substantially frivolous or vexatious, the court is require to impose attorney's fees on the person who filed it.