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Colorado Statutes/TITLE 14 DOMESTIC MATTERS/DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE - PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES/ARTICLE 10 UNIFORM DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE ACT/14-10-128.5. Appointment of arbitrator - de novo hearing of award.
(1) With the consent of all parties, the court may appoint an arbitrator to resolve disputes between the parties concerning the parties' minor or dependent children, including but not limited to parenting time, nonrecurring adjustments to child support, and disputed parental decisions. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, all awards entered by an arbitrator appointed pursuant to this section shall be in writing. The arbitrator's award shall be effective immediately upon entry and shall continue in effect until vacated by the arbitrator pursuant to part 2 of article 22 of title 13, C.R.S., modified or corrected by the arbitrator pursuant to part 2 of article 22 of title 13, C.R.S., or modified by the court pursuant to a de novo hearing under subsection (2) of this section.
(2) Any party may apply to have the arbitrator's award vacated, modified, or corrected pursuant to part 2 of article 22 of title 13, C.R.S., or may move the court to modify the arbitrator's award pursuant to a de novo hearing concerning such award by filing a motion for hearing no later than thirty days after the date of the award. In circumstances in which a party moves for a de novo hearing by the court, if the court, in its discretion based on the pleadings filed, grants the motion and the court substantially upholds the decision of the arbitrator, the party that requested the de novo hearing shall be ordered to pay the fees and costs of the other party and the fees of the arbitrator incurred in responding to the application or motion unless the court finds that it would be manifestly unjust.
Source: L. 97: Entire section added, p. 33, § 2, effective July 1. L. 2004: Entire section amended, p. 1731, § 3, effective August 4. L. 2005: Entire section amended, p. 956, § 2, effective June 2.
Law reviews. For article, "Child Custody: The Right Choice at the Right Price", see 26 Colo. Law. 67 (August 1997). For article, "Use of a Parenting Coordinator in Domestic Cases", see 27 Colo. Law. 53 (May 1998). For article, "Privatizing Family Law Adjudications: Issues and Procedures", see 34 Colo. Law. 95 (August 2005). For article, "Parenting Coordinator: Understanding This New Role", see 35 Colo. Law. 31 (February 2006).
While issues of child custody, visitation, child support, and other matters relating to the children are arbitrable, the trial court retains jurisdiction to decide all issues relating to the children de novo upon the request of either party. In re Popack, 998 P.2d 464 (Colo. App. 2000).
Because there was no arbitration award issued pursuant to this section, mother was not entitled to a trial de novo. Although the order of appointment clothed the parenting coordinator with arbitration power, the court found no arbitration occurred. In re Kniskern, 80 P.3d 939 (Colo. App. 2003).
Trial court is not required to conduct an evidentiary hearing on an arbitrator's request for payment of fees. Although the necessity or reasonableness of an arbitrator's fees may be subject to dispute, the parties' due process rights to litigate the scope of the services and the amounts requested are well protected by written motion practice. In re Eggert, 53 P.3d 794 (Colo. App. 2002).
Requests for de novo review must be filed within 30 days after the arbitrator's ruling. This conclusion is consistent with the plain meaning of the statute since it specifically refers to the Uniform Arbitration Act of 1975 that creates the 30-day time frame. In re Schmitt, 89 P.3d 510 (Colo. App. 2004).