What are the “Best Interests” of the Child?
“In determining parental responsibilities (decision-making responsibilities and parenting time), parents should consider the age, independence, emotional needs and development of the child as well as the schedules of each parent. Although there may have been certain parenting “schedules” prior to the, the filing of a legal action, it is important that parents discuss an alternate plan that will ensure contact between the children and both parents. The court must approve the Parenting Plan and will do so only if it finds the arrangements to be advantageous to the child and in the child’s best interests.
Consider the distance between parental homes, school locations, and the children’s schedules, interests, activities and health. Children usually do best in an arrangement in which both parents continue to have an active role in their lives. Children need and love both parents and don’t want to “lose” either parent. It is critical for parents to consider and determine arrangements with the child’s best interests in mind, even though they may not coincide with the parents’ personal desires.
Schedules (those of both parents and children) will change as children get older. You have two options when modifying a Parenting Plan.
You can informally modify your Parenting Plan by mutual agreement. However by not filing with the court any changes to the Parenting Plan, any changes made are not enforceable with the court.
You can file a motion to modify the Parenting Plan along with an amended Parenting Plan to the court and ask that it become an enforceable court order.”
This article was published as a pamphlet as a public service by the Colorado Bar Association. Its purpose is to inform citizens of their legal rights and obligations and to provide information regarding the legal profession and how it may best serve the community. Before relying on this information, consult an attorney about your individual case.
Disclaimer: Information on this website is not intended to be legal advice. View Full Disclaimer