Why You Might Need to Transfer Your Case to CO
It is not uncommon for people to move after going through a divorce. Whether you're moving to be closer to family, for a new job, or a fresh start, you may find yourself a new resident of Colorado. When this happens, it is worth considering transferring your divorce case to your new home. While your divorce may already be finalized, if future issues crop up, you will have to appear in the court that originally dealt with your divorce. This can be incredibly inconvenient.
If you are dealing with any of the following, you may want to transfer your case to Colorado:
- Court-ordered spousal support
- Court-ordered child support
- Child custody and parenting plan agreements
- You foresee needing a family court order modification
- You are concerned about possible disputes in the future
Every case is different, and just because you were divorced out of state doesn't mean you should automatically transfer your case when you move. Determining if you should petition the court to register your out-of-state divorce decree should be handled with an experienced attorney's guidance.
Should I Also Move My Child Custody & Support Decree to Colorado?
Just as with divorce, the issuing court has jurisdiction over child custody and support matters. This can make things difficult after you move, especially if neither you nor your ex lives in the state where your custody and support matters were handled. Generally, you will want to register your out-of-state custody and support decrees in Colorado if you are dealing with issues that require enforcement or modification of those original orders. Otherwise, you may struggle to resolve your custody or child support matter.
However, just because you've moved doesn't mean you have to or even should register your custody or support order. As with transferring your divorce case, you want to speak with your lawyer to determine if registering your custody or support decree in Colorado is the right move for you.
Registering Foreign Decrees in Colorado
Registering a foreign decree is the legal process by which Colorado courts gain jurisdiction over your divorce, custody, or support orders. Without jurisdiction, the Colorado courts do not have the authority to enforce, modify, or otherwise deal with problems related to your divorce. To transfer your divorce to Colorado, you will need to petition the court to register an out-of-state divorce decree.
Registering your divorce case in Colorado involves providing courts with all current orders from your divorce. You will also need to serve your ex and give them sufficient notice. Though this process looks straightforward, all paperwork must be carefully filled out and filed with the court. It is recommended that you work with an attorney to complete this process.
The Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act
Before Colorado courts can take enforcement measures or make changes to custody orders, they need to be granted jurisdiction over the case. Colorado, like many other states, has adopted the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. This act governs jurisdiction in child custody matters.
According to the Act, Colorado may have grounds for jurisdiction over a child custody case if:
- Colorado is the home state of the child or was the home state of the child within 182 days of the proceedings, and one of their parents still lives in Colorado
- Another state declines jurisdiction on the ground that Colorado is the more appropriate forum for the proceedings
- The child and their parents have a significant connection to Colorado other than residence
- There is substantial evidence in Colorado regarding the child's care, protection, training, and personal relationships
Interstate child custody and support problems can be incredibly complicated. There may be other grounds under which Colorado can gain jurisdiction in your custody matter. When dealing with out-of-state family court orders, you should always seek legal representation from a lawyer familiar with registering foreign decrees, like ours at Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C.