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Will My Custody Rights be Affected by a Move?

Divorce & Relocation

Will my custody rights be affected by a move?

In the state of Colorado, when you are looking to relocate your child, it is referred to as "removal from Colorado." Today's society has become significantly more mobile over the years and this issue of relocation has become more prominent in family law cases. Relocation cases can be filed by either party.

Whether you are the relocating parent seeking modification to the current child custody agreement or you are attempting to prevent the proposed relocation, a Denver family attorney at Jones Law Firm, PC can help. Any court will tell you that with these cases, they will always rule in favor of the child's best interests. Every state, however, differs on the matter of who has the burden to prove that the relocation is for the best. The outcome of the case could vary depending on whether it is the custodial or non-custodial parent who has the burden of proof.

Parental Relocation & Child Custody Law

The Colorado Supreme Court recently had a case in regards to the Marriage of Ciesluk (2005). The final decision was that in general, there are no presumptions in favor of either parent. This means that there are no presumptions that the child will remain with the primary caregiver in a relocation case, which leaves the party trying to stop the removal, responsible for burden of proof. Furthermore, they came to the conclusion that there is no presumption in favor of the parents continuing to leave within close proximity of each other. This would place the burden of proof on the shoulders of the party requesting the relocation.

What do Denver courts consider in a relocation case?

The Colorado courts prefer both parents to be geographically close and tied to one another so they can both be actively involved in the child's life. According to the C.R.S. 14-10-129(a)(II), when the parent with majority of the custody or 50/50 custody wants to relocate and retain visitation or custody, that parent must provide written notice to the former spouse. The notice must include the location they would like to move to, the reason for the relocation (job, new marriage, etc.), as well as a proposal for a new visitation ("parenting time") schedule.

The court will take several factors into consideration, including:

  • The anticipated impact the move will have on the child
  • The educational opportunities at the new and old location
  • The child's relationship with the parents with the existing court order
  • The ability to formulate a new parenting time schedule
  • The reason that the parent wants to relocate
  • The advantages & disadvantages in regards to the child's best interests

After any divorce, uncontested divorce or legal separation in which children are involved, either parent may find that revisions or modifications to the current child custody or visitation schedule are required. For a variety of reasons including work, religious motivations, other family responsibilities, one parent may need to move to another location that is beyond the distance arranged in the current visitation schedule agreement. In such a case, our team can help. Jones Law Firm, PC has the knowledge and skill in all aspects of family law to help our clients understand their rights and options.

Dedicated Legal Counsel You Can Trust

If you are facing relocation, we can help. Our Denver divorce attorneys know the ins and outs of both sides of this difficult situation. A relocation attorney at our firm can listen carefully to your case and help come up with the most effective plan of action. We carefully strategize in order to get the best outcome possible for our clients. Whether you are a father seeking fathers' rights or even a grandparent who wants to know more about grandparents' rights in a relocation case, we may be able to help.

Contact Jones Law Firm, PC today to discuss your relocation case!

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