Danielsen Westhoff
Handling Family Law Matters Throughout the Greater Denver Metro Area
720-739-7835
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Relocating with children in divorce?

As a divorced parent you may have opportunities to pursue new employment, obtain better housing or move to a different community to be closer to family. Relocation can be more complicated after divorce, especially if the other parent disapproves.

You need to ensure your child or children have an ongoing relationship with your ex-spouse. This often means re-negotiating a workable parenting time arrangement.

As a custodial parent, it is usually necessary to obtain court approval to modify the established parenting time agreement prior to moving. As with any custody issue, the concern of the court is going to be the best interests of the child.

What will the judge want to know?

A move from Colorado to California, for instance is a substantial change and the court would look at a variety of factors before granting approval. The following are some of the factors Colorado courts will consider when determining best interests for modifications:

  • Why do you want to relocate with your child?
  • Why does the other parent oppose the proposed relocation?
  • What is the history of each of your relationships with the child?
  • Are educational opportunities available to the child at the new location? How do they compare to what is currently available?

The court will also consider the overall impact of the move on your child. If you haven't been able to agree on a workable parenting time agreement if the move should occur, the court may do so.

Advocacy through the court process

If you are looking to relocate in order to improve your situation, going through the process of seeking court approval can be daunting. When the other parent strongly opposes your move, it is important to seek assistance from a skilled family law attorney. By the same token, in some cases you may have good reason to oppose the other parent's proposed relocation.

Whatever the specific circumstances of the case, having a skilled advocate will ensure that your side is heard by the judge. Seeking counsel immediately may also avoid the need for a contested court hearing on the proposed move.

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