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Life doesn’t always go according to plan, and the divorce process probably reminded you of this several times. Now that you feel fully adjusted to the small and large life adjustments you made after separating from your spouse, you realize your custody agreement isn’t going to fly for much longer.

Fortunately, depending on how permanent or urgent the custody changes you hope to make are, there are a couple ways you can alter your custody agreement. Teaming up with an experienced family law attorney can help you reach a new custody schedule that makes the most sense for your family.

Grounds for change

In Colorado, the court approves custody modifications if the planned changes keep your child’s best interest in mind.

For example, if you want to change your schedule because you’ve signed up for personal training sessions that impacts your ability to take care of your children, then this would be a self-serving change. But if you want to change up the schedule because you landed a new job that requires you to work on weekends when you usually have parenting time, then that’s a different story. Since you need your job to support your children and they are unsafe alone at home, then it’s probably best for you to change up the custody schedule for the sake of your children.

Some other grounds for change that keep your children at the forefront, include:

  • Removing your children from an abusive situation
  • Adjusting to a long-distance move or death of a parent
  • Making changes so your co-parent will follow the schedule
  • Letting your older child choose a living arrangement that supports their well-being

Need for court

You and your co-parent can try and talk out plans to change your custody schedule. But without a court decision, there is no legal requirement for either party to abide by the changes. If you plan to take your modification plan to court, it’s important to keep in mind you can only make changes to the schedule every two years.

Whether you create a mutual agreement or seek court intervention, it’s best you and your ex clearly lay out your reasoning and expectations as you plan to modify your custody schedule. After all, when parents are happy, children usually are too.