Restriction of Parenting Time
One of the hardest decisions to make is whether you should ask the court to restrict the other parent’s time with your child and/or ask to have supervised visitation. The standard that the court will use to determine if the other parent’s time with the child should be restricted is imminent physical or emotional danger. (Colorado Revised Statute §14-10-129(4). The reasons to restrict the parenting time must be an imminent harm to the child; it cannot be a disagreement on parenting techniques or styles.
Restriction of all parenting time is a drastic step for a court to take. Procedurally, a Petition to Restrict parenting is filed with the court. The clerk’s office will give you a hearing date, usually within a very short amount of time. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if the court should temporarily restrict parenting time prior to the court holding an evidentiary hearing. If the court grants the request, a further hearing on the matter will be held within 14 days. You must serve the other party with notice of this hearing. It is not uncommon for the court to grant the temporary restriction but deny the request at a final hearing.
You must be prepared for both hearings and be able to demonstrate how the child’s physical health or emotional well being will be impacted if the court does not grant the motion.
If the court finds that the motion was not brought in good faith, you may be required to pay the other side’s attorney’s fees and costs. You may consider contacting an attorney to decide if this is the best way to proceed and the likelihood that you will be successful in the motion.
Defending yourself against a Motion to Restrict Your Parenting Time
It is imperative that you are prepared for your hearing. The other party is alleging that your child is in danger when in your care. In such danger that to allow you to see the child would put the child in immediately danger to either his or her physical health or emotional health. This should not be taken lightly.
You will receive the Motion and the reason for the request to restrict your parenting time. It is always advisable to go through each paragraph and line of the Motion and find ways to show that the allegations are either false or misconceptions of the truth. You may consider hiring an attorney. Your family law attorney should be able to give you a different perceptive, one that is not emotionally attached to the issue. If you believe that the motion has no merit and is only vexes on the part of the other party, you must bring evidence to support the claim. During a hearing the restrict parenting time, the court will not consider any evidence other than what is necessary to determine if the child(ren) is in imminent physical or emotional harm. Meaning that showing the other party is wrong and a “bad” person will not get you to far. The court does not want to hear every bad thing that the other person has done or vise versa. The court does want to hear how the child(ren) is safe and well cared for by you.
If you believe that the child(ren) is more harmed by the contentious relationship brought on by the other party’s actions, not your actions this may be important, but only as it relates to the child. You may all need to present evidence that the claims are false or misleading. Be cautioned that false means completely untrue statements, not that the other party’s interpretation of the issue or situation differ from your interpretation.
If you are successful in defending a motion to restrict parenting time, you should request the court order the other party to pay for your attorneys’ fees and costs, if any.
If this information was helpful or if you would like further information on this topic, please contact us directly at (303) 747-4686.
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