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Understanding Requirements For Parental Relocation In Colorado

Most parenting agreements are crafted when parents live reasonably close to one another – often in the same city. But what happens when one parent wants or needs to move to another city, or even out of Colorado? Such a move could very well violate the parenting agreement and would require the moving parent to obtain permission from the other parent or permission from the court.

If you find yourself involved in a “move-away” dispute, you could benefit from the help of an experienced family law attorney. In Centennial and surrounding areas, look no further than my firm, Duncan Legal, PC.

How Far Is Too Far Away?

Colorado’s law doesn’t specify a specific distance of relocation that would require the permission of the other parent or court. Rather, the statute states that the move requires permission if it “substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other [parent].”

This ambiguity has a purpose. Sometimes, moving to an opposite end of the same metro area can significantly increase the commute time between residences, even if the difference in miles seems minimal. Conversely, moving to a neighboring city might be appropriate if the commute time is reasonable.

Unless you live right on the border, an out-of-state move would almost certainly require permission from the other parent or the court. Whenever relocation is a possibility, however, it is a good idea to at least consult with an attorney.

Procedure And Considerations

The parent who wishes to relocate first needs to notify the other parent of the proposal. The notice, which should be in writing, will include:

  • The reason for the move
  • The proposed new location
  • A modified parenting plan

If the other parent agrees, there should be little problem getting court approval. If the other parent objects, however, the court will need to evaluate both parents’ arguments and determine if the move would meet the best interests of the child. It may consider factors such as how the move would impact the child, whether a reasonable (but modified) parenting schedule can be maintained, and reasons for the move vs. reasons objecting to it, among others.

How My Firm Can Help You

As with all matters related to child custody, petitions for parental relocations need to account for a wide variety of relevant factors and competing interests. These cases are often contested, and courts are looking for an argument that places the wellbeing of the child or children at the center. I will help you create the strongest possible argument for why relocation should be granted or denied, depending on your position.

Discuss Your Legal Needs With Me Today

Duncan Legal is based in Centennial, Colorado, and serves clients throughout the surrounding areas. To discuss a parental relocation or any other family law issue with me, attorney Carolyn Duncan, in an initial consultation, call my office at 303-222-7021 or send me an email.