There are times when a parent would like to relocate outside of Colorado and take the child or children with them. This typically requires the consent of the other parent or an order from the court. We live in a town where many people come here or leave here because of military transfers. There are times when couples split, when one would like to move back to where his or her family is located. That is never a problem but moving the children can be a very difficult process. Divorce is tough enough on kids by itself but when one parent chooses to relocate to another state, whether or not they take the children, this causes turmoil in the children’s lives.
There are two scenarios when a parent requests to relocate out of Colorado and take the children. The first scenario is right after the initial break but before the court has entered Final Orders. It is always better to see if an agreement can be reached between the parents. If you can’t reach an agreement than the court needs to step in and make a decision. At this juncture the court must accept the location where the relocating parent wants to live. Then the court needs to determine the appropriate parenting time. Typically, if one parent has been the most involved parent with the children, the court allows that parent to take the children to the new location.
The second scenario is when one parent wants to relocate the child or children out of Colorado after Final Orders. Again an agreement between the parties is always better. When the court is called upon to make a decision in this instance, the factors are much more elaborate. The court is required to make 21 separate findings under the current case law. The reason that this is more difficult is because there has already been a Final Order of the court. The parent who wishes to relocate has an equal burden with the other parent to show that this move is in the best interest of the child or children.
Under the first scenario the reason for the move is unquestioned and automatically accepted by the court. Under the second scenario the reason for the relocation will also be examined as one of the 21 factors. As you might imagine, both sides must present evidence to the court on all these factors which can be extremely complicated.
As every situation is unique, you should consult a child custody lawyer at the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. for advice regarding your individual situation. The information you obtain at this site is not legal advice nor is it intended to be legal advice.