Child Endangerment Laws

If one parent feels that the other parent is emotionally or physically endangering their children, he or she can file an Emergency Motion to Restrict Parenting Time under Colorado law. This is a serious action to take, so any parent who is considering filing such a motion or who has one filed against them should speak to a Denver CO family attorney for assistance as soon as possible. Child endangerment is a very emotional area of Denver CO family law, and a Denver family attorney can help parents navigate the system.

 

How the process works

This motion, available from the Colorado Court system, needs to be completed and filed with the court. Once filed, it is usually addressed within 24 hours. If the court grants the motion, the parent whom the order is against will automatically have their parenting time restricted until there is a hearing. This means he or she can only visit with the children with supervision from third party who is not related and is approved by the court or a mental health professional who is licensed.

After the motion has been granted, the hearing will be held within 14 days of the motion being filed, as required under state law. During this hearing, the court will decide whether to restrict the parenting time for longer, put less restrictions on that parent’s parenting time, or deny the motion overall. With so much on the line, having experienced legal representation is very important in these cases, so a Denver family law attorney can be a tremendous help to parents who are part of a child endangerment case. Your family lawyer in Denver will review the case and help you protect your rights and the rights of your child.

 

Child endangerment standards in Colorado

The parent who is filing the motion must prove that his or her child is in imminent emotional or physical danger when the child visits or has contact with the other parent. “Imminent” in this case means something that has happened very recently and not years ago; the threat to the child must be current and not in the past. A family attorney in Denver can review the facts from the parent to make sure his or her case is on solid ground before filing and at the related hearings.

When it comes to what constitutes “physical or emotional danger,” the laws do not provide much in the way of guidance, and this where a family Law attorney can help. This means the court has a lot of discretion when deciding whether a particular action or lack of action is serious enough to be viewed as putting a child in emotional or physical danger. While there is no single guaranteed way every motion will go, judges are generally hesitant to grant this type of motion because every parent has the right to parent his or her children, and this order will limit that right. There have also been cases where one parent has abused this process to restrict the other parent’s parenting time for no solid reason, so the court will evaluate these motions with a very close eye. Speak to your family law attorney in Denver about any concerns you have regarding the specifics of your family endangerment case.

 

A solid case is necessary

A parent who wants to file a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time must have sufficient evidence to do so. If the court denies the motion outright, the parent who filed will lose credibility with the court. If the court grants it at the first meeting but denies it after the hearing, the parent who filed may still lose some credibility in court. The laws even provide for the filing parent to pay the costs and attorney fees of the other parent related to the motion should the court find the filing was groundless, frivolous or done out of spite. This is why it’s so important to consult with a family law attorney in Denver, CO about your case. In some situations, courts have even changed the parenting time schedule because a parent filed a groundless child endangerment case.

Should a parent have serious concerns about parenting time that do not increase to the level required for endangerment, he or she can file a motion to modify the parenting agreement instead. Contact a family law lawyer in Denver, CO if you want to change the parenting time schedule you currently have.

The experienced family law team at The Burnham Law Firm is ready to help you with your child endangerment case. With something as serious as parenting time or your child’s safety on the line, you cannot afford to take any chances. Speak to us about your case today by calling (303) 990-5308.