How Do I Get Emergency Child Custody?

Changing a child custody arrangement can be a long and complicated process. But what if there is an emergency and you need custody of your child right away? Luckily, there are specific child custody laws in place for this exact scenario. Before we get into how to get emergency child custody, it is important to know what it is.

Emergency Child Custody

Filing a motion for emergency child custody allows a court to act immediately to suspend all unsupervised parenting time. There are a few restrictions, however. The court can only grant emergency child custody if your child is being put in danger by their other parent. This endangerment can be emotional or physical. Some examples are physical abuse, sexual abuse, excessive drinking or drug use around your child, mental health concerns for the parent, domestic violence, or even neglect. In addition, if your child’s other parent isn’t necessarily the one endangering your child, emergency custody can still be granted. If your child’s other parent has friends or a significant other who endanger your child, this falls under child endangerment on behalf of the parent.

How do I get emergency child custody?

To start the process of getting emergency child custody, you would first have to file a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time with the court. Once you have filed your motion, the court will immediately order that all contact between the parent and child be monitored by a third party. The court will then schedule a hearing in the next 14 days to review the motion. At the hearing, both parents will be allowed to present any evidence they have regarding the endangerment of the child. This can include pictures, emails or texts, and any people who have witnessed the endangerment or lack thereof. The court will then make a ruling on the motion. The judge will either deny the motion, continue the restrictions put in place when the motion was filed, or change the restrictions to be less strict or stricter.

It is important to note that there are penalties for wrongful accusations, including, but not limited to, paying legal fees for the other side. It is vital that you do not file a motion like this out of spite. To avoid this, it is helpful to consult an attorney to make sure that what you are claiming is substantiated. A Divorce Matters attorney can also help you navigate the entire process with ease and expertise.

5 Colorado Summer Vacation Destinations for the Whole Family

Summer break can be a hard time of year for divorced parents. While extra time with your kids and warm weather can bring joy, it can also come with difficulty splitting up parenting time. Sometimes, even just planning a vacation can be difficult if it’s going to be out of state. This list of 5 family-friendly Colorado destinations will make planning your summer vacation far easier and allow you to make the most of your parenting time.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

  1. Durango: This charming and historic town has a lot to offer during the summertime. Because of the river that runs through town there are plenty of water sports to keep the kiddos busy including kayaking, tubing, paddling, and whitewater rafting. Durango also offers a scenic railroad, in addition to various restaurants, boutique hotels, retail stores, and the Durango Discovery Museum!
  2. Snowmass: New on the summer vacation scene, Snowmass is quickly becoming one of the best family vacation spots in Colorado. There are tons of options for outdoor activities, like the Treeline Trial Challenge Course and the Lost Forest Adventure Park, which offers zip lines, an alpine coaster, a climbing wall, disc golf, and even paintball. In addition, the town of Snowmass boasts restaurants, live music, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and even a rodeo. The Roaring Fork River also offers water sports, specifically paddle boarding with local guides.
  3. Steamboat Springs: This cute Western town offers a weekly rodeo, which draws many tourists to the area. Main Street offers a variety of shops and restaurants, as well as being close to the Old Town Hot Springs. The springs have numerous pools and areas to play in and are a great spot for kids! There are plenty of activities on the mountain as well, including mini-golf, tubing, mini-boats, bounce houses, climbing walls, a mountain coaster, hiking, and biking. The 4th of July is a great time to visit Steamboat Springs for their huge parade through Old Town.
  4. Glenwood Springs: Another hot spring town? We promise it’s worth the stop! Glenwood Springs has a resort called Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, which offers a mile-long pool for kids to swim to their heart’s content. In the summertime, there are cabana rentals and even a splash zone. For the more adventurous children, there is adventure to be had at the Historic Fairy Caves Tour at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.
  5. Winter Park: Only a 90-mile drive from Denver, Winter Park has a lot to offer its summer visitors. On the mountain, families can check out Colorado’s longest alpine slide, free Friday movie nights, climbing walls, and the Trestle Bike Park, which has trails appropriate for all ages. Families can also take a one-hour walking tour of the kennels at the Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park. The area also boasts 5 mountain lakes, which are perfect for boating, fishing, and water sports. Grand Lake is one of these lakes and is Colorado’s largest body of water. The historic boardwalk has various shops, restaurants, and even a theater to check out. As with all of Colorado, there are beautiful trails and hikes to be found all over this area.

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New School Year, New Routine

It’s that time of year when school is right around the corner and your children are gearing up for the new year. This can be a particularly difficult time of year if you are going through or have been through divorce. Here are a few quick tips on how to keep everything running smoothly for your children as they adjust to their new schedules after a summer of freedom.

  • Try to tell your child’s guidance counselor and teachers what is going on. This will allow them to understand your child’s behavior if they begin to exhibit signs of mood changes and behavioral issues. No need to overshare here, just let them know what is happening.
  • Consistency is incredibly important, especially for younger children, so make sure that you stick to the custody plan in place. Communication will be key for smooth drop-offs and pick-ups so make sure you have a reliable means of communicating in a way that doesn’t cause misunderstandings.
  • Routine is healthy for children, it keeps their days structured and teaches them responsibility. Try to keep their evening routines as consistent as possible between households. Things such as bedtime, brushing their teeth, cleaning their room and regular dinners are all a part of their routine and consistency will help them feel like their days are structured and under control no matter which house they are staying at that day.

These are just a few quick tips to help you as the new school year approaches and your child’s schedule gears up to change. Don’t forget to tell your children to enjoy the last bit of summer while they can!

How To Give Your Child Emotional Support Through Divorce

If you are facing divorce or perhaps already going through it, then you know that no matter what happens it will be something that affects your children. This is perfectly normal and there is a natural grieving process that they will go through as they deal with their emotions around your separation. There are ways you can help make sure that your children have the support they need during this time.

The first is to make sure that they know you are there if they need to talk about it. The urge to keep it hush-hush can be strong if you feel like avoiding the topic would be less painful for them. However, letting them know you are available to talk to about it without forcing them to gives them the space they need to process their emotions and feel safe enough to approach you if they have questions or need to share something.

One of the best things you can do for your kids is to try and work out an amicable and conflict free co-parenting plan. Of course, this isn’t always an option depending on the individual situation but if you can work to settle your differences with your ex-spouse for the sake of your kids it will go a really long way in helping them deal with their emotions about the divorce.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get yourself and/or your child professional help if either of you find that you continue to struggle with the divorce in a manner that seems unhealthy. Talking to a counselor or therapist is a great way to learn the tools needed to cope with the stress associated with divorce.

Protecting Your Assets From Your Adult Child’s Ex-Spouse

If you have an adult child who is set to inherit your collected assets in the future, and that adult child is in a serious relationship and may be planning marriage soon, you may be so ecstatic about the upcoming nuptials that you fail to consider that your adult child’s spouse stands to inherit your assets as well.

There are a few ways you can ensure that your life’s work does not fall into the hands of a vengeful ex in-law if the upcoming marriage ends in divorce. The first is something we talk about a lot ”“ the prenuptial agreement.

Convincing Your Adult Child To Get A Prenup

There are a few circumstances where prenups are highly important to consider (although we recommend that every couple thinks about a prenup before tying the knot). Those circumstances are the following:

  • When you have a substantially wealthy family
  • When your adult child is employed in a family business that you own
  • When your adult child has children from a previous marriage or relationship
  • When you have gifted significant assets to your adult child in the past

If any of the above is true, be sure to convey to your son or daughter the importance of a prenup to protect any current and future assets, including those that the adult child would inherit from you in the future.

If your son or daughter says no to the prenup (we get it ”“ it’s an awkward conversation to have with a spouse-to-be), you have another option to ensure that your assets are divided the way you want: creating a trust. We’ll go in depth on that subject this Wednesday.

What to Do When You Kid Chooses Your Ex

Divorce is full of heartbreak and stress, especially when kids are involved. But even when a divorce is long since passed, there are still some words that can shatter a parent’s world. Perhaps one of the worst things a parent can hear from his or her child is that the child wants to move in with the other parent.

This usually happens during adolescence. The kid always has reasons ”“ maybe they have more friends over at Dad’s house, or maybe Mom has more money. It could be a simple matter of “the grass is always greener” syndrome. No matter the reason, those words can lead to feelings of rejection and abandonment. They can make a parent question what they did wrong as a parent, or why the kid prefers to be at the other house.

If your kid has expressed a desire to move in with the other parent, try not to let your emotions get the best of you.

  • As with any matter involving separation or divorce, do not use this as an opportunity to bash your ex. Your child should never be put into a position where they have to choose sides, and badmouthing your ex can actually paint you in a negative light.
  • Discuss changes in visitation (parenting time, as we call it in Colorado) with your attorney. If parental rights have already been established in court, you will have to reconsider the current parenting arrangement.
  • As heartbreaking as it might be for you, respect your child’s decisions. Your job as a parent is to provide a supportive and positive environment for your child, even if that means letting go.
  • These days, it is incredibly easy to remain in meaningful contact with your child, even if they are far away. Apps like Skype and Facetime can allow you to chat with your child face to face, even from halfway across the world. Call often and make an effort to stick to your visitation. Your child still needs you, even if you are not the primary custodian.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

4 Signs Your Child is Struggling with Your Divorce

Kids are incredibly strong-willed, but divorce can hit them hard. Especially in younger kids, divorce is a very confusing thing and it can be hard to understand. And with all of the stresses that come from divorce, sometimes parents will miss some key signs that their kids are struggling. If you notice any of the following behaviors in your kids, you should take steps to make sure your kids are okay:

  • If you notice that your child’s grades are slipping, this is a sure sign that the divorce is distracting him or her from learning. To remedy this, you can schedule a conference with both your child and his or her teacher. Helping the teacher understand the reason for your child’s struggles can lead to accommodations that can help keep your child focused and productive, and having the child along shows the child that you care about his or her education and are willing to work closely with all involved parties to ensure that they do well in school.
  • Keep watch over your child’s relationship with his or her siblings, especially older ones. Because kids can react so differently to divorce, ignoring the interactions between your children can cause a lot of problems. Children might take sides; this behavior should be discouraged. Additionally, be wary about giving older children too much jurisdiction over the younger ones. Remember, you are the parent ”“ it is fine to give the kids extra housework to pick up the slack, but you should not have your older children take on a parenting role.
  • Keep watch over what the kids do in their free time. Younger children may need extra support during play time; school children might engage in destructive behavior like violence toward classmates on the playground, or stealing. Adolescents may exhibit delinquent behavior (truancy, for example) or become antisocial.
  • In older children especially, be wary of dramatic changes in the child’s outlook. Depression and low self-esteem can seriously lower your child’s quality of life. This depression can lead to destructive behaviors, such as smoking or drug and alcohol use.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

Making the Most of Non-custodial Parenting

Being the non-custodial parent can be challenging. It is a drastic change from spending your day-to-day life with your child to limited visits, and coping with this shift can be frustrating. However, just because you no longer get to spend as much time with your child does not mean you cannot still be an important part of the child’s life.

There are lots of parents in your shoes, so we’ve compiled some advice from non-custodial parents to help ease the transition for you.

Understand and exercise your rights as the non-custodial parent. Make sure that you’ve made time to visit when you are allowed. If you are able to speak on the phone or text message each other, take advantage of that. Do you have access to school and medical records? Use that access! Keeping close tabs on your child allows you to be involved in his or her day-to-day life while also providing you useful information if, in the future, you decide to modify the custody agreement.

Work with the other parent. Do not harbor resentment for your ex, even if you feel like the custody situation is his or her fault. The easier you make the change for the other parent, the more accommodating he or she will be to you when you want time with your child. Co-parenting is not only best for you and your ex, but for the child as well.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with your situation, focus on what is right. Spending time with your child should be a happy, memorable experience, and as long as you keep a positive outlook and make sure that you fully utilize your time together, the memories you make will overshadow any negativity you might feel toward being the non-custodial parent.

The transition will be difficult, but if you handle it correctly, being the non-custodial parent should not serve as a detriment to your relationship with your child. If your custody arrangement still proves unsatisfactory, though, you can always speak to a family law attorney about custody modification.

Divorce Matters ”“ Denver Family Law Attorneys

How to Deal with Exes and Parenting Issues Post-Divorce

Our Twitter feed has been full of great tips for dealing with ex-spouses this week! Whether emotionally or legally, dealing with your ex after your divorce can be a bumpy””but often necessary””ride. The most common reason an ex stays in your life after the relationship ends is shared custody of the kids. If you have children together, your life will likely never be completely free of a former spouse””even after the kids enter adulthood.

Maintaining a civil relationship with an ex””in most cases, except instances of abuse or violence””can benefit everyone involved, particularly children. It may not always be easy, but here are a few tips for dealing with an ex in ways that everyone can live with:

  • Do not badmouth your ex in front of your kids: Face it””everyone is human. And all of us are tempted at times to express anger, frustration, annoyance, or sadness when the kids are going to visit the ex. For your children’s sake””and for your own mental health””please refrain. Seriously. It will not help you, and it certainly is not good for the children to feel stuck in the middle. In fact, try and go the opposite direction. Be generous. Let your children know your ex””their mother or father””loves them as much as you do, even if””inside your head””you have negative thoughts. Try to remember that the most important people in this relationship are your children. They will watch your actions as well as listen to your words. And it is not just the kids who will benefit. Avoiding arguments, harsh words, and negative emotions will reduce your own stress. Find someone to confide in””a good friend, family member, or therapist””and save your negative thoughts for a better setting and recipient.
  • Adjust to changes and be understanding: Your ex is dealing with his or her life too. There may be times when he or she is late for the children’s drop-off and pick-up. Or maybe there is a work conflict or an after-school activity to navigate around. Try to be flexible and understanding. Life happens, so be open to changes and adjust as best you can. If unplanned changes to parenting schedules and visits seem to be happening often, it might be time to review arrangements. If your ex is late to a few drop-offs, the world will not end; however, if it is a precursor to more serious behaviors or habits, consider whether there will be long-term effects. Again, the most important person here is your child. Will this behavior eventually impact your child negatively? If not, do your best to be flexible, even when it is hard.
  • Find neutral help: If you are finding it beyond difficult to maintain civility””and believe us, it happens””find someone who can act as a go-between or mediator for you. This can be a friend or family member, but it should be someone who both of you like and respect””and importantly, someone who can be neutral. This neutral party could then attend drop-offs and pick-ups or any additional meetings between the two of you regarding your child’s upbringing. Often, involving someone who is not directly affected can defuse a tense situation and keep everyone calm.
  • Keep the lines of communication open: Whether your child is having a hard time adjusting to the divorce, is involved in sports that bring frequent schedule changes, or even is having problems in school””you and your ex will need to be able to communicate. The first step is to find the communication style that works for both of you. It could be that email is easiest because face-to-face dredges up too many emotions. It could be that you need a neutral third party we discussed above. Either is fine. Just pick what works for you and the kids and make sure to keep talking. If you see a potential problem at your home with your child, make sure you let the other parent know. If your child is interested in joining a sport, and the games will require out-of-state travel, talk to each other. Communication in any fashion that reduces stress, prevents misunderstanding and ensures both parents know all they need to know to effectively address a child’s needs is the ultimate goal.


Your marriage may have ended, but you will always have your kids in common””and that means a little extra challenge when you are adjusting to life as ex-partners. Whether it is scheduling joint attendance at events, juggling the challenges of daily scheduling or child-rearing challenges, you and your ex will want to develop new””and perhaps unexpected””coping and communication skills to make sure children grow up with as much involvement and interaction from both parents as possible, despite the divorce.