Guiding Our Clients Through Child Custody Modification or Termination of Child Custody
Modifications to a child custody agreement or the termination of child custody are highly significant matters for all involved. They often usher in strong emotions and opinions by all parties involved.
If the modification of a child custody agreement must happen, it must be done legally when a court mandate is in effect. Other times may involve a parent who can no longer adequately care for the child and relinquishes their rights, or someone requests the termination of their rights.
The attorneys at Littman Family Law know that being a parent is a difficult job, and some people cannot handle the responsibility. They also know that circumstances change as children grow older. As Denver family child modification lawyers, they will help you navigate these uncertain waters for a positive outcome.
Child Custody Modification
Until 18 years of age, the court has jurisdiction over custody agreements regarding children once a divorce decree is final. This means that as a child’s schedule changes with age, the courts may modify the custody or visitation order to reflect this change.
The court generally makes these changes when it is in the best interest of the child. The court can amend the visitation when:
- The relationship with the parent changes for the child
- A parent desires more time with the child
- The child gets older and has more extra-curricular activities, a job, or a busier schedule
- The child or parent develops a physical illness or problem
- The child experiences physical, emotional, sexual, or other danger
- A parent refuses to follow the custody order of the court
- One parent has a significant relocation that makes following the court schedule impossible
Termination of Child Custody
Unfortunately, child custody orders can be terminated voluntarily or must be terminated for reasons that affect the safety and well-being of the child. In Colorado, the court must find “clear and convincing evidence” of abandonment by the parent for termination of parental rights.
Another way to pursue termination of child custody and parental rights stems from “clear and convincing evidence” that the parent is not fit to be a parent. The Colorado court may determine the physical, mental, and intellectual safety of the child as more important than parental rights.
Let’s review several reasons why parental rights might be terminated.
- Abandonment: Leaving the child with no intent to return and failing to provide financial and emotional support
- Violence in the home: Domestic abuse or abuse of the child or siblings
- Adoption: When a child is legally adopted by a stepparent or another person
Relinquishing Parental Rights and Custody
You can relinquish parental rights in Colorado. When this happens, you divest yourself of all rights and support obligations. The court only allows voluntary relinquishment of parental rights when it is in the child’s best interest.
The primary reason the court would grant voluntary relinquishment includes when the drug or alcohol addiction of the parent puts the child at risk. The other reason involves another person who legally agrees to assume responsibility for the child.
Involuntary Relinquishment of Child Custody
The court can grant an end to child custody when any of the following are true:
- Drug and alcohol dependency
- Abandonment or severe neglect
- Sexual abuse
- Imprisonment of parent
- Involvement in crimes
- Mental illness
Termination of child custody and parental rights can become a serious matter and requires the expertise of a Denver child custody modification and termination of child custody lawyer. Giving up parental rights means that you no longer have a financial obligation to the child, nor do you have a say in how the child is raised.
Why You Need Help From a Denver Custody Attorney
Re-negotiating a child custody agreement or seeking the termination of parental rights are weighty matters that require solid legal expertise. The attorneys at Littman Family Law understand the best approach to these matters that have long-term implications.
When you seek help from a Denver child custody modification lawyer for termination of child custody, we will navigate these murky waters and formulate a plan to achieve the child’s best interest. We offer comprehensive and compassionate assistance for serious matters like child custody modifications or termination of parental rights.
Contact Littman Family Law at (303)832-4200 or email us to schedule a consultation about your situation. We are here to help you in every phase of divorce, child custody, and parenting plan modification.