Relocating after a divorce is a decision that carries significant emotional weight and legal complexity, especially when children are involved. In Colorado, as in many states, the legal system places the child’s best interests at the forefront of any custody and relocation deliberations. Let’s take a look at the legal considerations, challenges, and steps involved in relocating with children post-divorce in Colorado, offering a compass for parents navigating these choppy waters.

Understanding Colorado’s Legal Framework

When it comes to relocating with children after divorce, Colorado statutes and court decisions set forth specific guidelines and requirements. Under C.R.S. 14-10-129(2)(c), a parent intending to relocate with a child or children must provide notice to the other parent, outlining the reasons for the move, the new location, and a proposed revised parenting plan. The statute applies to any move “that substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other party [the second parent]” which can apply even to moves within the same metropolitan area if the change in distance or travel time is significant.

This statute underscores the importance of transparency and the need to maintain a cooperative spirit between divorced parents for the benefit of their children. However, it’s also a recognition of the non-relocating parent’s rights and the potential impact on their relationship with the child.

The Best Interests of the Child

The paramount consideration in any custody case or relocation request is the child’s best interests. This is a broad concept that encompasses various factors, including but not limited to:

  • The reasons for the proposed relocation.
  • The reasons why the opposing party objects to the relocation.
  • The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child.
  • The educational, emotional, and physical needs of the child.
  • The impact of the move on the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent.

Courts in Colorado take a holistic view of the child’s welfare, considering how the move would affect their development, stability, and ongoing relationship with both parents. Notably, in the landmark case In re Marriage of Ciesluk, the Colorado Supreme Court emphasized that relocating parents must demonstrate that the move serves the child’s best interests, not just their own.

Obtaining Permission to Relocate

The process of obtaining permission to relocate involves several steps. It begins with the aforementioned notice to the other parent. If the non-relocating parent objects, the matter typically proceeds to mediation or court for resolution.

During court proceedings, both parents will have the opportunity to present their arguments, evidence, and any relevant testimony to support their positions. Parents should articulate clear, compelling reasons for or against the relocation, focusing on its potential benefits or detriments to the child’s well-being.

Given the complexity of these cases, consulting with a family law attorney who specializes in custody and relocation matters, Such as Brian Boal, can be invaluable. They can provide guidance on the legal intricacies, help prepare your case, and advocate on your behalf in court.

Coping with the Challenges of Relocation

Relocating with children after divorce presents a tapestry of challenges, from securing legal permission to adapting to new environments. For the relocating parent, it’s crucial to consider the logistical and emotional implications of the move, both for themselves and their children. This might involve planning for their education, social integration, and continuity of care.

For the non-relocating parent, maintaining a meaningful relationship with the child becomes paramount. This can be facilitated through regular communication, virtual visitation, and making the most of allocated parenting time.

The decision to relocate with children after a divorce in Colorado is a path fraught with legal and emotional complexities. It demands careful consideration, thorough preparation, and, above all, a focus on the child’s best interests. By understanding the legal framework, engaging in open communication with the other parent, and seeking professional advice from Boal Law, parents can navigate these challenges and make informed decisions that foster the well-being of their children.

Remember, every family’s situation is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. It’s important to approach this process with flexibility, empathy, and a commitment to finding the best possible outcome for your child. If you’re contemplating relocation or facing opposition to your planned move, Boal Law Firm can guide you through the intricacies of Colorado’s custody and relocation laws. Your children’s future is worth the investment.

Skip to content