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Parental Relocation Can Pose A Difficult Challenge To Child Custody Agreements

The issue of parental relocation arises whenever there is an existing court order concerning parenting time and one of the parents wishes to move with a child to a residence that “substantially changes the geographic ties” between the child and the other parent. It is important to note that the issue of parental relocation is not limited to moves out of the state.

Even if the non-moving parent does not contest the proposed move of the child, all existing orders concerning parenting time, decision-making responsibilities and child support will need to be reevaluated in light of the child’s move and modified accordingly before relocation occurs. If the non-moving parent contests the move, the parent wishing to relocate with the child must obtain the court’s permission before doing so. While the court cannot force a parent to live in any particular location, the court does have the authority to either approve the child’s relocation or prohibit the child’s relocation.

If you have an existing custody order and either need to relocate or wish to contest a co-parent’s relocation, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney like one of ours at Harrington Brewster Mahoney Smits, P.C. They will guide you through the legal process and help you present the strongest arguments for your position in the matter.

Factors The Court Must Weigh In Relocation Cases

In order to make this determination, a Colorado court will consider the following, outlined in Title 14. Domestic Matters § 14-10-129:

  • The reasons why the parent wishes to relocate with the child
  • The reasons why the opposing parent is objecting to the proposed relocation
  • The history and quality of each party’s relationship with the child
  • The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and 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 the 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
  • Whether the child’s present environment endangers the child’s physical health or significantly impairs the child’s emotional development and whether the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child

Our attorneys recognize the significant impact that relocation has on families, and they are experienced and successful in both negotiating and litigating relocation cases.

Speak To An Attorney About Your Child Custody Matter

With an office in Denver, Harrington Brewster Mahoney Smits, P.C., serves clients throughout the surrounding areas of Colorado. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our caring and attentive lawyers, call 720-736-7078 or reach out online.