It may come as a surprise to receive a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time in Fort Collins. You might never have expected your ex-spouse to take you to court to try to reduce the time spent with your child. If you have been served with this type of legal document in Colorado, read it immediately. Then, contact a Fort Collins divorce lawyer as soon as possible to respond to the motion promptly and correctly.
What Is a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time?
A Motion to Restrict Parenting Time is a legal document submitted to a family court judge to adjust an existing parenting time arrangement. There must already be a custody order in place for a parent to file a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time. The person filing will become the moving party. A parent may only file this type of request in Colorado if he or she has proper cause.
A new issue or circumstance must have arisen since the judge approved the initial parenting time order. According to Colorado Revised Statute Section 14-10-129(4), the only reason a judge will grant a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time is if the moving party can prove that the child is an imminent physical or emotional danger. Restricting parenting time is a drastic step that a judge will only allow if he or she believes it is in the best interest of the child.
How Should You Respond to This Motion?
If you receive a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time in Colorado, read it completely. It is important to understand exactly what your ex-spouse is asking a judge to do. Make a note of the time and date of your scheduled hearing, as well. You do not want to miss your hearing. Then, take the motion to a child custody lawyer in Fort Collins for a full review of the paperwork and answers to your legal questions. You and your lawyer will decide how to respond.
You have three choices in responding to a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time. If you do not wish to fight the change, you can do nothing. The judge will alter parenting time without giving you a say in the matter, in this case. If you do wish to defend against a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time, file a written response and participate in the hearing. Your third option is attending the hearing without filing a written response; however, it is wise to file a written response first so a judge has the opportunity to understand your position.
You have a deadline to respond to a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time. Do not delay, as this could put you at risk of the motion proceeding without your input. You must file a written response to this type of motion at least three days before your scheduled hearing date. You must also either hand your ex-spouse your written response three days before the hearing or mail it at least five days before.
Defend Your Parental Rights With Help From a Lawyer
Even if a judge granted a temporary restriction of your parenting time, it is common for the judge to deny the request at the actual hearing. You will have the opportunity to defend yourself ahead of a ruling. Hire an attorney to defend your rights. Legal representation is the best way to improve the likelihood of a successful defense.
Your lawyer can help you prove that the motion has no merit and that your ex-spouse only filed it out of spite, for example, or establish that the child is safe and properly cared for with you. If you are successful with your defense, you can also file a request to make your ex pay for your legal fees and attorney’s costs. A lawyer can help you present evidence and build a strong case in your defense to protect your parenting time in Colorado.