The Most Common Reasons To Modify Court Custody Orders

In certain circumstances, changes to a court-ordered child custody arrangement—also called “parenting time” in Colorado—might become necessary for the well-being of the child. These reasons can range from a parent moving across the country to one parent alienating the other to a parent struggling with substance abuse. Learning why you may need to modify an existing custody agreement can help you determine whether you need to hire a legal advocate. In this informative article, we’ll explain some of the most common reasons to modify court custody orders.

Parental Relocation

If one parent decides to relocate, it may require a modification of the current custody agreement. A significant shift in geographical location could affect the feasibility of the existing arrangement, thereby necessitating a reassessment of the custody terms.

Before submitting a motion to the Court, contact your ex-spouse to explain the situation and attempt to reach a mutual agreement. Following this, making the appropriate legal modifications to the existing agreement will be necessary. You will want any agreement for modifying the parenting plan to be in writing and preferably filed with the Court. If you cannot reach an agreement outside of Court, seek guidance from a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Concerns About Home Environment

Instances of neglect or abuse—physical, mental, or emotional—warrant an urgent review and possible modification of the custody order. Keep in mind that if you have concerns about your child residing in a potentially hazardous environment with your ex-partner, you’ll need to provide substantial evidence to the Court to support these claims and prioritize your child’s safety. In order to restrict the other parent’s parenting time, you will need to show that the child is in danger with the other parent and prove that danger to the Court through testimony and evidence.

The Death of a Parent

The unfortunate event of a parent’s death will inevitably lead to the modification of the custody order. Addressing this matter promptly is crucial to your ability to provide stability for your child during such a challenging time.

Full custody doesn’t immediately go to the surviving parent if the other passes away. Courts must determine that this change would be optimal for the child based on the surviving parent’s individual circumstances. The decision also depends on factors such as the child’s best interest, the relationship with the surviving parent, and the surviving parent’s economic situation.

Parental Alienation

The final common reason to modify court custody orders occurs when one parent prevents healthy bonding between their ex and child. Judges in Colorado value the importance of maintaining a healthy bond between a child and both parents. Parental alienation refers to instances in which one parent attempts to alienate the other parent from the child. If a court finds that a parent has alienated the other parent, it could lead to a change in custody.

Modifying a court custody order is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. When you’re contemplating such changes, consulting with a legal professional is crucial to ensuring your child’s best interests are upheld.

Jones Law Firm, PC has spousal support modification lawyers and attorneys who can assist with alterations in custody cases. We strive to help our clients achieve their legal goals while prioritizing the well-being of their children. Let us guide you toward a brighter future for your family.


The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit).