New Protections in Colorado Law for Victims of Domestic Abuse Effective July 1, 2013



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New Protections in Colorado Law for Victims of Domestic Abuse

Effective July 1, 2013
The bill establishing these new protections, HB13-1259, has two main sections: changes to domestic relations laws in Title 14 and changes to civil protection order laws in Title 13 of Colorado’s Revised Statutes*.

Substantive Revisions to the Domestic Relations Statutes Include:

  • Expanding rights of children: the right to be safe & reside in homes free of abuse;

  • Directing the court to consider evidence of domestic violence and child abuse or neglect and to make findings before making determinations about parental responsibilities;

  • Directing the court to consider all best interest of the child factors in light of such abuse;

  • Prohibiting the court from holding a parent’s protective actions to prevent the child from witnessing or being a victim of domestic violence or child abuse against that parent;

  • Requiring the court to consider safety conditions when awarding parenting time to a person found to have committed domestic violence or child abuse;

  • Strengthening & clarifying the presumption against mutual decision-making in cases involving domestic violence;

  • Directing the court to consider past and present domestic violence with relocation requests;

  • Extending the timeframe for holding a hearing on emergency motions to restrict from 7 to 14 days; and

  • Giving the court discretion over the appointment of parental responsibilities evaluators.

Substantive Revisions to the Civil Protection Order Statutes Include:

  • Reorganization of the statutes & adding sexual assault and stalking information to the legislative declaration;

  • Expanding the definition of domestic abuse to include harassment & coercion;

  • Defining and clarifying sexual assault/abuse provisions throughout the bill;

  • Clarifying that criminal justice system intervention is not necessary for civil protection order eligibility;

  • Expanding eligibility for emergency protection orders to include abuse of elders/at-risk adults, sexual assault and stalking, which crimes are already eligible for temporary and permanent protection orders;

  • Prohibiting the court from denying orders due to a lapse of time between abusive acts and requests for orders;

  • Clarifying that the burden of proof to issue a permanent order is a preponderance of the evidence;

  • Adding language to allow the court to consider acts to designed to intimidate or retaliate against a protected person to satisfy the findings required for issuance of a permanent protection order;

  • Codifying case law that a finding of imminent danger is only a prerequisite to issuance of a temporary order;

  • Extending the timeframe for temporary care/control orders from four months to one year;

  • Adding a new factor for court consideration of requests for modification or dismissal of an order: whether the order should stand as it is necessary to the continued safety of the protected person; and

  • Reducing the waiting period for modification/dismissal of permanent orders from four to two years & expanding the types of criminal convictions for which a respondent becomes ineligible for modification/dismissal.

For questions about or technical assistance with the information provided in this document contact:

Amy Miller, Public Policy Director at 303.962.0933 or 888.778.7091, Ext. 812 or amiller@ccadv.org.
*Access state statutes, forms, instructions and other information at www.courts.state.co.us

Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence • 1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 900 • Denver, CO 80203


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