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Colorado Child Custody Enforcement

Tuesday, 03 June 2014

child custody disputesAre you dealing with an ex-spouse that won't comply with your custody order? This is not uncommon for families of divorce, especially when the lifestyles of the parents have changed. Whether it's a move, a job change or a new relationship, there are many reasons why divorced parents don't comply with existing custody arrangements. In many cases, the parents had a custody order but their parenting plan never really worked and now it is causing a lot of conflict.

How can a child custody order be enforced?

Enforcement of a child custody order in Colorado may seem complicated to the uninitiated, but there is a simple remedy that works for most cases. A Colorado Springs family lawyer may file a Verified Motion Asserting Non-Compliance with the Colorado family court. This motion may also be filed by an individual. Either way, the court must respond within 30 days by denying the motion, setting a hearing date or requiring mediation between the parties with a report back to the court.

Remember, as with any hearing concerning the children in a divorce situation, the court will look to the best interests of the child when ordering relief. If your case is scheduled for a hearing and the court fines that one parent has failed to comply with the parenting time order, they will issue an Order that may include the following:

  • A modification to the previous Custody Order that better suits the child's best interests
  • New terms and conditions on the previous Custody Order
  • A new requirement that either one or both parents attend a parental education program at the expense of the non-compliant parent
  • Requiring "make-up" parenting time to address any denied parenting time owed to the aggrieved parent over the past six months
  • Requiring participation in family counseling at the expense of the non-compliant parent
  • Imposing a civil fine of less than $100 per incident of missed parenting time
  • Finding the non-compliant parent in "Contempt of Court"
  • Setting another hearing for the modification of custody

Child custody enforcement may also mean that the non-compliant is ordered to pay attorney's fees and court costs, or any other expenses related to bringing a motion of non-compliance.

The Court may also order the non-compliant parent to pay your attorney's fees, court costs, and expenses that are associated with bringing the Motion Asserting Non-Compliance.

How does Colorado child custody enforcement work in cases where the parents were never married?

Even when two parents were never married to one another, both of them still retain rights that are similar to parents who were married. They too can seek a legal agreement that dictates the parenting time and decision making responsibilities for their child. This agreement is known as an "Allocation of Parental Responsibilities." Once a parent files a petition to gain or modify custody, a similar process will follow unless an agreement can be reached.

Parents who find themselves in a situation where they believe they're being cheated out of parenting time may wish to do something about it. This is where a Colorado Springs family lawyer can help. If you would like to ask an attorney a question about enforcement of child custody - or come in for a consultation - we encourage you to do so.

Photo Courtesy of Antonio Stewart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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