When an absent parent wants to resume parenting time with a child, it can create emotional turmoil for everyone involved. The parent may have lost contact with the child as a result of a disruptive life event, including substance abuse or addiction, a mental health breakdown, or an affair. Alternatively, the parent may have become consumed with life’s many responsibilities and failed to maintain his or her relationship with the child. In all of these circumstances, if the disconnected parent expresses an interest in rebuilding the relationship with the child, the primary parent and the child will naturally seek information about many unknowns. Will the children be safe around him or her? How will the children handle all of this change? Is the disconnected parent going to come back into the children's lives only to abandon them again?
The best interests of the children must always remain at the forefront of these transitions and the assistance of a Colorado family law attorney and a mental health professional is often warranted. If the situation necessitates legal intervention, there are several types of professionals that can assist with evaluating the child’s best interests, including a Child and Family Investigator and a Parental Responsibilities Evaluator. It is important to speak to your family law attorney about the differences between these options and how they can assist in the process of reintegrating a parent in a child’s life.