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Can I Modify My Parenting Plan?

In Colorado can I do my own parenting plan? Read more from Greeley family law attorney.

So you got your final order from the judge, and now your parenting plan isn’t working out. Is there anything you can do? As with many legal issues, the answer is maybe. 

Under Colorado law, you can request changes to your parenting plan whenever those changes would be in the best interests of the child or children, with a few exceptions. What are the exceptions? Generally speaking, you can’t change child support unless there are new circumstances that, when put into the child support calculator, will result in a change of child support payments by more than 10% (up or down). Also, if you’re asking to change the primary custodial parent, you have to wait two years from the last date a parenting time motion was filed. And keep in mind that, if you were just barely in court and just barely got an order, some judges will simply not want to hear another argument, especially if it’s based on things you already knew about, so you might be ordered to mediate before any proposals will be heard in court.

Some examples of times when the court will hear modifications are, for instance, when a parenting plan for an infant or toddler allotted a significant portion of time to one parent (even though both were fit), and the child is now older and better able to handle more equal parenting time; when a parenting plan was overly specific (e.g., was based on one parent’s job schedule) and the specific situation no longer applies; when a parenting plan was overly generic (e.g. failed to state what time of day exchanges would take place or who would do the transportation) and did not account for specific needs; and similar situations.

If you are happy with your parenting plan, but the other person isn’t following it, that’s a different issue called a parenting time dispute.

For more information on what might constitute a change in the “best interests of the child,” click here or review Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-124.