Relocation and Parenting Time
Experienced Denver Relocation Attorneys
After two spouses end their marriage, they may need to make arrangements for child custody and related issues, such as child relocation. While a divorce or legal separation is pending in Colorado, a parent cannot move any children of the marriage outside the state without permission from the other parent or a family law judge. After the marriage has been dissolved, a parent may take a child out of the state for a visit, but formal permission is necessary to permanently take the child out of the state.
For guidance in this potentially complex area, divorcing or former spouses should consult a skilled child relocation lawyer at the Denver firm of Plog & Stein, P.C. We have helped numerous individuals fight for or against the relocation of their children. Our entire team is prepared to protect your interests with the tenacity that you deserve.
Thinking About Relocating a Child in Denver, CO?
During the process of dissolving a marriage, a parent sometimes wants to relocate a child as part of an initial custody decision. In other cases, however, a parent decides to move out of the state or to another part of Colorado after an existing custody order has been in effect for some time. Often, the reason for the move is related to the parent’s job. These scenarios can also arise in an allocation of parental responsibilities (child custody) case. The standard for moving a child from Colorado prior to the entry of final orders in your divorce or custody case is different from the standard after final orders have been entered. Your family lawyer in Denver will be able to appropriately advise you of your rights and options related to your specific circumstances.
If the other parent objects, a Colorado family law court will do the following:
- Pre-decree, the court will take into account where the parents want to live at the time of the divorce (or initial custody case) and make parenting time decisions for their children accordingly. This will include an assessment of which parent is best suited to have primary residential custody pursuant to C.R.S. 14-10-124, accepting where each parent wants to live.
- Post-final orders, the court will look at the reason for the proposed move, mapped up with the factors set forth in C.R.S. 14-10-129.
When the other parent opposes the proposed move of the child made by the primary or equal-time parent after an initial custody order has been entered, a Colorado court must balance a parent’s right to move with the decrease in parenting time for the other parent. A parent who wants to relocate the child to a place that substantially changes the geographical relationship between the children and the other parent must give the other parent a written statement with four elements. A child relocation attorney in Denver can help a parent construct this statement.
Under C.R.S. § 14-10-129(1)(a)(II), these elements consist of:
- A notice of intent to relocate the children
- The location where the parent intends to live
- The reason the parent is relocating
- A proposed revised parenting plan.
What to Expect at Child Relocation Hearings
Once requested, child relocation hearings are to be given priority on a family law court’s docket. The judge will look at whether relocation is in a child’s best interests. There are no presumptions in favor of either parent. That being said, it is our belief that when each parent has substantial parenting time, gaining the ability to relocate with the child can be quite difficult and may necessitate the use of a child custody expert.
At the hearing, the court will consider the following factors:
- Why a parent wants to relocate with the child
- Why the other parent objects to the relocation
- The quality of each parent’s relationship with the child since the previous parenting time order was issued
- Educational opportunities for the child at either location
- The presence of extended family at either location
- Any advantage to the child in remaining with his or her primary caregiver
- How the move will be likely to affect the child
- Whether there is a reasonable parenting time schedule that can be created if the relocation is allowed
- Any other factors relevant to the child’s best interests
Discuss Your Child Custody Issue With Us at Plog & Stein, P.C.!
Our firm’s knowledgeable child custody attorneys have the skills and dedication to help you, whether you are a Denver parent hoping to relocate with a child or a parent who is concerned about losing valuable parenting time due to an ex-spouse’s move. Our Denver child relocation lawyers understand that child relocation and the related court proceedings can be stressful, and we will take a compassionate, detail-oriented approach to your case for a higher chance of success. You don’t have to do this on your own.
Our firm is here for you. Give us a call today for more information about child relocation matters.