Head to Head

Parenting Time Disputes

When the parents disagree, trouble follows.

If you are getting sideways with the other parent about parenting time, try first to work it out. An amicable solution may seem “pie in the sky” but please try in good faith. Keep copies of all your communications.

Parenting Time Disputes

There are a number of common scenarios that result in parenting time disputes. It may be that one parent consistently drops a child off late. Or perhaps one parent is consistently refusing to comply with a holiday or vacation parenting time schedule. Sometimes a parent consistently schedules extracurricular activities (like club soccer) on top of the other parent’s parenting time. Unexpected events, such as deployment of one parent who has remarried might also result in a dispute. The parents must decide how to handle the parenting time schedule but may not agree. In this scenario the dispute is often about allocating parenting time to the step-parent. As you attempt to resolve the concern with the other parent your primary concern should be what is best for your children. Try not to focus exclusively or excessively on what benefits the adults.

Going to Court

C.R.S. §14-10-129.5 addresses disputed parenting time. If the parents disagree as to the meaning of a parenting time order or the schedule or if one parent is not complying with the order or schedule consider filing a Motion Regarding Disputed Parenting Time pursuant to C.R.S. §14-10-129.5. This consideration is important. You may be upset but it is important to evaluate whether you want to proceed through engaging in a court battle which will be expensive and could negatively affect your children over time. Is there a substantial issue? Is the non-compliance likely to continue? Have you tried to work it out? Do any of your prior agreements require mediation or other dispute resolution before filing something with the court?

After the Court receives the Motion it has 35 days to make a decision as to how to proceed. It can deny the motion, set it for hearing, or require the parties to go to mediation and make a status report within 63 days, and then at the end of that time it will set a hearing. These matters are usually set for a hearing as expeditiously as possible in order to end the conflict sooner rather than later and try to keep it from escalating.

In the Motion, the possible sanctions listed in the statute need to be clearly set forth, so we recommend using the form from the Colorado state court website (JDF 1418).

 

 

 

 

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