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Filing For Child Relocation in Colorado

A divorce is hard on everyone in the family, especially the children. Many times, the custodial parent will want to move to a new city or state and start life anew. While the parent may feel this necessary, child relocation is often a contentious subject between the two parents, because one will feel that their rights and abilities as a parent are being violated.

Process of Filing for Child Relocation in Colorado

If you wish to move far enough away from the other parent that the geographic ties between them and the children would be erased, you must file a petition with the court if you and the other parent cannot come to an agreement on your own. The relocation papers are not filed until after a court order regarding parenting time is given. The process of filing for relocation includes:

  • Written notification must be given to the other parent – and usually their lawyer as well – which contains the location you wish to move to, why you are moving and a revised parenting plan.
  • A filing fee of $105 is required. If you cannot pay it, you must complete a Motion to File without Payment.
  • Other forms that could be necessary include: sworn financial statement and child support worksheets.
  • Upon filing all the proper forms, there will be a court hearing to determine the validity of your wishes.

The forms can be gotten from the Colorado Judicial Branch website, and should be as honest and thorough as possible. If the other parent disproves any of your claims for why the move is necessary you may face criminal charges.

Colorado Child Relocation Court Hearing

Bottom line, the court tries to determine what is best for the children. According to Colorado law, the court will take all of the following into account during the hearing:

  • The reasons why the party wishes to relocate with the child.
  • The reasons why the opposing party is objecting to the proposed relocation.
  • The history and quality of each party’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 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 requested is permitted.
  • Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child.

All of this information must be provided in order for the court to consider your petition seriously. If your reasons for relocation include fear of violence or abuse by the other parent towards you or the children, Colorado law stipulates that the motion be heard within seven days.

It’s worth re-mentioning that the court will determine the best course of action based on the needs of the children; a move within Colorado or even within the same metropolitan area can create logistical and emotional problems for the children, so your reasons and evidence for the necessity of relocation should be convincing.

A good Colorado divorce attorney will help you sift through the paperwork and comply with all legal requirements. Going through a separation is not just difficult for you but for the children as well, and an attorney can help make the process as painless as possible.

For more information on divorces: see our divorce FAQ’s.

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