September 2, 2014

Colorado Court of Appeals: In re the Marriage of Parr

on May 27, 2010.

Modification of Parenting Time.

In a post-dissolution of marriage proceeding, the trial court restricted parenting time of David Lyman (father) with his minor child. Father appealed the court’s ruling. The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and vacated in part.

The marriage between father and mother was dissolved in 2007. At that time, the parties signed a complete parenting plan that detailed a gradual increase in father’s parenting time over a period of seven months, from short supervised visits to unsupervised alternating weekend overnights with the child. The father’s visits were to be governed by ongoing urinalysis tests and drug screenings to demonstrate that he had not returned to marijuana use.

Approximately a week after signing the parenting plan and the same day it was incorporated by the court into the decree, father learned he had been approved for listing on the state of Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry (Registry) due to his debilitating back and knee pain from a motorcycle accident. He filed a pro se motion with the magistrate requesting that the urinalysis portion of the parenting plan be waived.

The magistrate concluded father’s voluntary signing of the parenting plan left him “stuck with it.” Father filed a timely petition for review but the trial court took no action. Five months later, mother filed a pro se motion to restrict father’s parenting time, arguing that he had not provided urinalysis drug screens and had asked the child to keep secrets about his drug use. No hearing was held on this motion.

More than a year after father filed his petition for review, and nearly nine months after mother filed her motion, the trial court denied father’s petition. The court modified the urinalysis provision somewhat, and required supervised parenting time until he demonstrated to the court by clear and convincing evidence that his use of medical marijuana is not detrimental to the child. Father appealed.

On appeal, father argued that the trial court erred in modifying the provision restricting him to supervised parenting time without a finding that, absent such a restriction, the child would have been physically endangered or her emotional development would have been significantly impaired. Additionally, father argued the record contained no evidence that would support such a finding. The Court agreed with both arguments and therefore vacated the modified provision.

This summary is published here courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer. Other summaries by the Colorado Court of Appeals on May 27, 2010, can be found here.

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  1. [...] before the Memorial Day Weekend, our Court of Appeals released its decision in the case In re Marriage of Parr, 09 CA 0854 (May 27, 2010) the first Colorado appellate case involving an allocation of parental responsibilities in which one [...]

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