If Orders have been entered in Colorado (or a petition regarding the children has been filed), the law prohibits one party from removing children from the State without permission of the other parent or the judge. If a parent intends to relocate, s/he must give written notice to the other parent with the location, the reason for the move, and a proposed distance parenting plan. If the parents cannot agree on where the children will reside primarily, then a judge will decide after a hearing.
What Is Relocation?
A relocation does not have be a move out of state—it can even be within the state. A “relocation” is, instead, defined as any change in location that would substantially change the geographical ties to one of the parents.
If a parent wishes to move a child to a new location as part of the initial custody determination, the court is required to accept where each party states they are planning to live, then make appropriate parenting time decisions which are in the best interest of the children. This pre-decree standard is used before there is any initial order regarding the parenting responsibilities. If a parent wishes to move a child to a geographically significant distance from the other parent after the initial orders are entered, a different—and more difficult—post-decree standard is applied by the judge.
Factors Considered For Relocation
- Reasons why the party wishes to relocate with the child.
- Reasons why the remaining parent is objecting to the proposed relocation.
- The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child since any previous parenting time order.
- The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location.
- The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location.
- Any advantages of the child remaining with a primary caregiver.
- The anticipated impact of the move on the child.
- Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the change is permitted.
- Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child.