By: Stephen J. Plog
While we’ve written about this subject before, it’s been a while. From time to time, safety or endangerment issues can arise in a child custody case. These types of issues can range from one parent having a drug or alcohol problem which limits their ability to safely parent, to a parent engaging in emotionally or physical abusive behaviors. In instances in which these types of safety issues present an immediate risk to the children such that there are concerns regarding their safety with one of the parents during their court ordered parenting time, Colorado statute offers an emergency remedy in the form of a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129(4).
Pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129(4), a motion to restrict parenting time can be filed if the children are in “imminent” physical or emotional danger. “Imminent” means immediate and the court will be looking for acute and current concerns tied into the safety of the children. Once a motion to restrict parenting time is filed, the parenting time for the accused parent ceases, unless supervised parenting time with a licensed mental health professional can be arranged. In most cases, once the motion is filed, the court will do an initial review and will either enter an order upholding the statutory restrictions and requiring the setting of a hearing, or will deny the motion, usually based on a lack of information or allegations amounting to “imminent danger.” If the motion is denied the process stops. If the motion is granted, statute requires that a hearing be conducted within 14 days. At that hearing, the party filing the motion will be expected to provide evidence supporting the raised allegations.