My wife's daughter is 3, we'll call her B. A previous parenting plan is in place, but was made under completely different living circumstances for all parties involved. Currently, the plan is taking a large emotional toll on B, and on her. He works full time, and B is left with his mother majority of the time. My wife works from home and has full capability to handle all Dr's appointments and school related issues. On top of that, father's mother is overstepping bounds and applying herself as B's mother. Father has gone against multiple clauses on the existing parenting plan. Do we have grounds to file for full custody or at minimum he having every other weekend? Or should we leave the situation as is? Thanks for any input.
First, if your idea of "full custody" (not a legal term) is that the father has no parenting time with his daughter, then you chances of success are very low unless you have evidence that the father is a child molester. Colorado courts strongly favor BOTH parents having time with the child.
As to whether or not you could convince a judge that it is in the child's best interests to reduce the father's parenting time from where it currently is, analyzing that would take a more in depth discussion than is possible online. If it is important to your wife, she should schedule a consultation with an attorney. Important factors would include: How long has it been since the original parenting time orders were put in place? What is the nature of the "multiple" violations of the existing parenting plan? How serious are the issues? What reason do you have to believe that the current parenting plan is detrimental to the child?
If some time has passed since the original orders were put in place and you have articulable reasons to believe that a modification in the parenting plan would be in the child's best interest your wife might consider filing to modify parenting time. However, Colorado courts strongly favor joint custody and significant parenting time for both parents, so she will need pretty good arguments - and probably an experienced attorney - if she wants to reduce or restrict the father's parenting time.
Robert Salter is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Robert Salter or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
Courts prefer 50/50 unless there is clear evidence that it is not in the best interest of the child. I understand these situations are not ideal. If you want to discuss your options, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to discuss with you over the phone.
Contiguglia / Fazzone, P.C. / Finding a solution to achieve your goals by providing skill, insight, direction and counsel! / www.contifazz.com / Just because I answered your question, that does not create an attorney - client relationship between us unless and until there is a written fee agreement in place formalizing our attorney - client relationship.
Attorney Salter gave you an excellent answer especially in respect to your wife discussing the situation with an attorney. I will also add that the word "custody" is really not used - in its place are the words "parenting time". I believe this change was intentionally made to communicate the importance the courts place on a child having time with both parents unless, of course, a parent is a danger to the child,. In addition, typically in order to change a court ordered parenting time schedule, a parent would have to convince the court that it is in "the best interests of the child" to do so and/or endangerment. If B is struggling as a result of the existing parenting schedule, your wife may want to consider arranging for her to see a child psychologist and if in fact, there are issues, having an expert 3rd party testimoney could greatly help your wife's efforts to change the parenting scheudle.
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