Can I Move to Another State with My Children?

Parents choose to relocate for several reasons. A parent may move for a better job opportunity, to be closer to their family, or to join a new spouse.

Regardless of why a parent may relocate, they must do so within the bounds of Colorado’s relocation laws. These laws vary depending upon the moving parent and non-moving parent’s custodial relationship with their shared children.

The following offers legal guidance regarding Colorado’s child relocation statutes. This is general information. For specific case advice, seek the advice of an experienced child custody attorney near you.

Is a Court-Ordered Parenting Schedule in Place?

If a court-ordered parenting schedule is in place, a parent with whom a shared child lives a majority of the time or an equal time must have permission from the other parent or the court to move when that move “substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other party.”

If Yes, the Other Parent Must Be Given Notice

The parent seeking relocation must give the non-moving parent notice of the intended move as soon as practicable.

That notice must include the following:

  • The location where the parent intends to reside;
  • The reason for the move; and
  • A proposed revised parenting plan.

If the non-moving parent does not consent, the relocating parent must file a motion to relocate. The matter is then set for a court hearing.

Relocation cases are given priority but can take months for a court to hear.

If the Other Parent Denies the Move, the Court Will Decide

Without the non-moving parent’s consent, the court will decide whether the move is in the best interests of the child(ren). In doing so, the court will review any domestic violence as well as the following factors:

  • The reasons for the relocation;
  • The reasons the other parent objects to the move;
  • The history and quality of each parent’s relationship with the child;
  • The educational opportunities at the current and proposed new location;
  • Whether either location has extended family;
  • Any advantages of the child remaining with the primary caregiver;
  • The impact of the move on the child;
  • Whether the court can fashion a reasonable parenting schedule if relocation is granted; and
  • Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child.

Although the court may not favor either parent in a relocation case, some reasons for moving may carry more weight with the court than others.

What if I Move without Permission?

It is against the law to move with a co-parented child without going through the proper notification procedures. Anyone who does so is subject to parental kidnapping charges.

The other spouse can petition the court that issued the original parenting plan for an emergency hearing and child custody change.

Contact an Experienced Broomfield Child Custody Attorney Today

Do not take risks with your children and future relocation. Contact an experienced child custody attorney at Danielsen Westhoff, PC, to ensure your move complies with Colorado’s relocation statutes.

Danielsen Westhoff, PC, has decades of experience helping families meet their family law expectations. Reach out to one of our compassionate, approachable attorneys to schedule your initial consultation.

At Danielsen Westhoff, PC, we want you to know your legal rights and obligations before you make life-altering decisions. Get started with us in advance of your move by calling (720) 649-4876.