Colorado family law issues can be complex. Among the most difficult to navigate are parenting time and living arrangements. If the child asks to live with the noncustodial parent, it is imperative to understand how to address this situation.

Steps to take with a child’s requests regarding living arrangements

Parents might have an immediate negative reaction to a child asking to live with the other parent, but there are key steps to take and to avoid. The child should be allowed to express his or her preferences. Parents are advised to listen to the child without anger or dismissiveness. That said, the child should not be allowed to yell or be rude. The discussion can be handled in a mature way from both perspectives. Empathy for the child’s situation is beneficial. If possible, the other parent should be part of the discussion.

It is also wise to know what behaviors can result in problems. Some parents will simply ignore the child’s request. This can make the child believe that their feelings are irrelevant. Parents will frequently take offense if the child no longer wants to keep the same custodial arrangement. It may not be personal, so it should not automatically be taken as such. An immediate reaction might be to say negative things about the other parent to illustrate why it is a bad idea to change custody arrangements. However, this should be avoided.

Legal assistance with child custody concerns

When there is a modification request as to the child’s living arrangements, there are legal requirements that must be adhered to. This is true if there is a dispute and the parents are unable to come to an agreement or if the sides are amicable and willing to make changes. Consulting with legal professionals experienced in family law may be vital to make sure a parent’s rights are fully protected and to achieve a satisfactory outcome.