Navigating Relocation After Divorce
Child custody is a sensitive issue in many Colorado divorce proceedings. Finding the right balance of responsibility, access, and resources can be a difficult process. Matters get even more complicated when one parent wants or needs to relocate. Child relocation during or after marital dissolution might be necessary to allow a parent to accept a lucrative job offer, live closer to supportive friends and family, or move in with a new spouse. When these circumstances interfere with the other parent’s ability to spend time with the child, the issue may need to be decided in a Colorado court. We are committed at Lewis and Matthews to resolving child custody issues around relocating after divorce.
Colorado Child Custody Laws
In Colorado, child custody is decided during the divorce process. During the initial phases, temporary orders describe where affected children will live, how much financial support each parent will provide, and visitation rights for the non-custodial party. Other issues related to education, medical care, and extracurricular activities are also included.
Issues of child custody get complicated when moving out of state with no custody agreement. In some cases, parents can make their own arrangements. Either in private or through mediation, these parties can decide how to divide time and responsibilities when relocating with a child after divorce. A modification must be filed with the courts to officially alter any existing agreements.
However, there are times when both parties cannot come to a mutually beneficial agreement. According to Colorado law, a custodial parent cannot relocate to a residence with the children that substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other parent without express permission from the other parent. When this happens, the custodial parent needs to seek court approval.
Child Custody Laws When Moving Out of State
When deciding court cases that require the movement of minor children, Colorado family courts focus on the best interest of the child. Custodial parents must present evidence that supports the benefits of their decision. The non-custodial parent has the right to contest the filing in court and is given a choice to prove that the move may not be in the child’s best interest.
Judges consider a number of important factors when deciding what actions are in the best interest of the children including:
- Financial issues – If the move endangers either party’s ability to financially provide for the child, the courts may reject the motion.
- Social issues – The presence of a strong social network that includes family, friends, and community members is an essential factor in the judge’s decision.
- Meaningful access to the non-custodial parent – In Colorado, judges prioritize the rights of both parents to spend time and form a bond with their offspring.
Any objections by the non-custodial party are examined alongside the evidence. When moving with kids after a divorce, an experienced legal guide ensures your interests are well represented in court.
Compassionate Legal Representation
Child custody cases are some of the most difficult aspects of marital dissolution. Besides knowledgeable and experienced legal guidance, families need a compassionate and understanding presence to help them shoulder the enormous emotional burden. From my own experiences with divorce and child custody, I know how hard it is for families who are fighting for their rights to live full, happy lives. In the courtroom, my personal history motivates me to use the knowledge gleaned from over 3 decades of legal experience to ensure my clients get everything they need and deserve from their Colorado child custody case.
If you’re a custodial parent moving out of state, our firm provides solid guidance to help you reach your goals. For non-custodial parents, we work with all parties to protect your rights and keep you close to your children. You can trust Lewis and Matthews to always have your best interest in mind.
Contact us for more personalized answers to your Colorado child custody questions.