Relocating with children is common for divorcees. In fact, it is not common for someone to live in the same place their entire life. More than 10% of Americans move every year. Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina are currently trending as common states to move to.
People are even more likely to move after a divorce. Some people want a fresh start. Upon starting a new and independent life, they may decide to move to pursue career opportunities or seek support from family.
However, moving after a divorce is not easy when there are children involved. This can be an issue when there is shared custody. It might not be so bad if you are moving around the corner or the next town over. But if you are moving to a whole different part of the state or outside of Colorado altogether, the other parent may have a problem. How will they see the kids?
Here is what you need to know about relocating with children.
In a relocation, everyone’s wishes are taken into consideration. Is the move in the child’s best interests? What does each parent want? Learn more below.
If you are seeking relocation of a minor child, Colorado child custody and visitation relocation law requires you to provide written notice to the other parent. You must include the following:
- Your intent to relocate
- The location of the proposed new home
- The reasons for the requested relocation
- A proposed parenting time schedule and plan
You must give notification for both in-state and out-of-state relocations. You should notify the other parent as soon as possible.
What the Court Needs to Know
In order to make a qualified decision about the relocation, the judge will need to know information such as the following:
- Why you want to relocate with the child
- Why the other parent objects to the proposed move
- The quality of each parent’s relationship with the child
- The educational opportunities for the child in the present home community vs. in the proposed new community
- The presence of extended family in the present home community vs. in the proposed new community
- Whether it is better for the child to remain with the parent with whom the child stays a majority of the time
- The anticipated impact of the move on the child
- Whether the other parent can engage in meaningful parenting time if the move is granted
If You and the Other Parent Agree on the Move
If you and the other parent agree on the move, you will need to fill out these two forms:
- JDF 1407 Stipulation to Relocate Minor Children
- JDF 1425 Order re: Motion to Relocate Minor Children
Filling out these forms can be complicated, so it may be beneficial to get help from a lawyer. Once the forms are completed, submit them to the same court that gave you the original parenting time order.
The court will ask you to pay a filing fee. If you do not think you can afford the filing fee, there are forms you can fill out to apply for a waiver.
If You and the Other Parent Do Not Agree on the Move
If your co-parent opposes the move, you can try mediation to see if you both can come to an agreement. If not, then you will have to participate in a court hearing. At the hearing, you and the other parent will present your arguments as to why you are for or against the relocation. The court will make a decision based on the child’s best interests. In many cases, courts do allow the child to move with a parent, but they do not take these decisions lightly.
In any case, you should not relocate your child without the court’s permission. This could be considered kidnapping, which is a serious crime.
Contact Us Today
Child custody and visitation can be contentious matters, especially when one parent decides to relocate. If the move is a substantial distance away from the other parent, it can create tension and anger. You need to understand your legal rights.
At Tanis McGonegal, our lawyers build highly persuasive cases for people facing the possibility of relocation. We have more than 80 years of combined experience. We can help you pursue the outcome you need and ensure the best interests of your children are served. Schedule a consultation with our Colorado child custody lawyers today by filling out the online form or calling (303) 465-4605.