Whether you’re in the early stages of a divorce or you’ve been divorced for years, moving to a different state can make it difficult to follow the original custody agreement, which is why it’s important to meet all legal requirements before relocating with a child.
Colorado Relocation Law
Colorado relocation laws are similar to those in many other states in the country. If you are planning on moving with your minor child, you must provide appropriate notice to both the other parent and the court overseeing your divorce and custody agreement. The court gives the other parent time to object and considers special concerns while determining whether or not to permit the move. It’s important to note that this law doesn’t just apply to interstate moves. Even a move within Colorado must be approved by the court if it substantially changes a child’s geographic ties to the other parent.
Providing Legal Notice
Once you have decided to move with your child, you must provide notice to the other parent and the court. The notice must include the following information:
- A statement of your intention to move
- Where you plan on relocating
- The reason for the intended move
- A proposed parenting plan and schedule that accounts for the school year, summer holidays, and standard holidays
Upon receiving this notice, the other parent can choose to object to the move. If this occurs, the court will then schedule a hearing to determine whether or not the move is allowed to take place.
Factors Considered in a Relocation Request
In Colorado, the burden of proof is equal for both parents. What this means is that the benefit of doubt isn’t automatically given to the parent with whom the child spends a majority of time. While considering custody and moving requests, the court must act in the best interests of the child. To that end, each parent must demonstrate that their proposed plan is optimal for the child in question.
During the course of a custody case, court representatives will attempt to discern what is in the best interests of the child. To do so, they will look at several specific factors:
- Why the moving parent intends to relocate
- The other parent’s reason or reasons for objecting to the move
- Educational opportunities for the child in the new location in comparison to the current location
- Each parent’s ties to – and relationship with – the child
- Extended family ties in each location
- Benefits of the child remaining with the current custodial parent
- How the relocation may impact the child’s well-being
- The ability of the noncustodial parent to enjoy reasonable parenting time if the relocation takes place
- Other factors presented by either parent
As a parent, you should consider these factors as well when it comes to making relocation decisions. While a relocation can be a difficult transition, proper preparation and planning can make it easier on you, the other parent, and most important, your child. Whether you are the one who is planning on moving or your child’s other parent has indicated an interest in relocation, legal representation can help you protect your parenting rights.
Explore Your Custody Options in Colorado
Navigating custody cases can be challenging, particularly if the other parent objects to your plans or proposed custody schedule. Get the legal support you need by calling Kinnaird & Kinnaird at (719) 520-0003.