Disputes regarding parental responsibilities are some of the most common cases that come through domestic relations courts. Most parents want to have involvement with their children, and most parents do what they can to expand their parental responsibilities. However, there are occasionally cases with other characteristics–whether there are instances of abuse, molestation, inappropriate behavior, drug or alcohol abuse, extreme forms of punishment, or other concerning behaviors, all may result in restrictions of parental responsibilities.
This article is aimed at discussing a few of the different types of restrictions that may be imposed upon a parent who exhibits inappropriate or concerning behavior towards their children.
Therapy takes all shapes and forms. Whether it is individual therapy or family therapy, or some combination of the two, the court may require that a parent engages in therapy. Generally, the goal is to assess the extent of any concerning behaviors, address those concerns, and hopefully accomplish rehabilitation. While the parent is engaged in therapy, their parenting time may be minimal or nonexistent depending on the seriousness of the issues. However, the hope is that once any concerns have been fixed, that parent’s parental responsibilities may eventually be expanded.
In any case in Colorado involving children, the parents are required to complete a parenting class. These parenting classes help teach parents the skills to act appropriately when it comes to issues involving their kids and provides them with tools to help cope with the stresses of parenting after the end of a relationship.
However, in cases with additional factors present, the courts may require that a parent completes an advanced level parenting class. These advanced classes are aimed at addressing more specific and usually more serious and/or concerning behaviors. The idea here is that by providing a parent with more intensive education, they will learn strategies to appropriately handle their role as a parent, or their interactions with the other parent.
Sometimes, a parent’s interactions with their child are of such great concern, that the court doesn’t trust their ability to safely parent their child on their own. In these instances, a court may order that any interaction a parent has with their child be supervised by a licensed mental health professional. In this instance, the professional will be present during parenting time to ensure the safety and emotional well-being of the child.
Therapeutically Supervised parenting time is a more intense form of supervised parenting time in which a licensed mental health professional supervises all interactions between a parent and their children. In this case, the mental health professional will make note of any inappropriate behaviors/interactions, halt the situation, provide step-by-step guidance to the parent on how to appropriately act, and ensure that corrections are made. This form of supervision can be described as a sort of “parental coaching”, where the therapist guides and instructs the parent on how to properly act as a parent.
Restrictions of parenting time and the conditions that may be imposed can seem daunting, but they are sometimes necessary to protect children. If you are involved in a case regarding disputes about parental responsibilities, restrictions to parental responsibilities may be needed. It is worth taking the time to discuss your case with a qualified attorney.
Here at Modern Family Law, we specialize in family law. So call us today to speak with one of our attorneys at no cost to you.
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