A Motion to Restrict Parenting Time is a serious remedy designed to assist a party in the event their children are in imminent physical or emotional danger. Knowing the procedure behind a Motion to Restrict can help you act quickly in the event you need to protect your children. Here are three steps to the process:
- File the Motion – a Motion to Restrict Parenting Time is filed pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-129(4). You will need to make specific factual allegations, under penalty of perjury, regarding precisely why you believe your children are in imminent physical or emotional danger by exercising parenting time with the other parent. If, after reviewing your allegations, the Court agrees with you that your children are in imminent emotional or physical danger, the Court will grant your Motion and set a hearing within 14 days. At that point in time, the other parent is not allowed to exercise parenting time unless that parenting time is supervised.
- 14-Day Interim – the Court is required to have a hearing on your Motion to Restrict within 14 days of when you filed it. So, you’ll likely have about two weeks to prepare for the hearing on your Motion to Restrict. During this time, the restricted parent may exercise supervised parenting time. Also during this time, you will need to gather evidence, in the form of documents, witnesses and otherwise, to support your claim that your children are in imminent physical or emotional danger. Police reports, statements from therapists, and CPS reports are all relevant information at trial. However, you will need to be sure that these documents comply with the Rules of Evidence, or the Judge will not be allowed to review them.
- The Hearing – here is where the Court decides whether there is imminent harm, either physical or emotional. If the Court believes there is imminent harm if the children return to the restricted parent, then the Court will fashion a different parenting time schedule. The Court will likely include therapy or some form of rehabilitation in its Order.
The point of most restrictions is to be only temporary – the Court often fashions a remedy where a parent can go through therapy, get back on track with their child, and lift the restriction.
You would be wise to only file this type of a motion in the most dire and legitimate of circumstances. A Motion to Restrict that is done without substantial justification can lead to attorney fees and sanctions. Contact me for a free consultation to discuss whether or not your case requires a Motion to Restrict.