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Legal Information: Colorado

Custody

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Updated: 
January 17, 2020

What steps do I have to take if I want to relocate?

If according to your current parenting plan, your child lives with you a majority of the time and you want to relocate to a place that would substantially change the geographical ties between the child and the other party, you have to first provide the other party with written notice as soon as possible. The notice must explain:

  • your intention to locate;
  • the new location where you plan to live;
  • the reason for the relocation; and
  • a proposed revised parenting time plan.1

Usually, then a hearing would be held where the judge would decide whether or not to allow the relocation based on whether it’s is in the child’s best interests. The judge would consider all relevant factors, including:

  1. the reasons why you want to relocate with the child;
  2. the reasons why the opposing party is objecting to the proposed relocation;
  3. the history and quality of each party’s relationship with the child since any previous parenting time order;
  4. the educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
  5. the presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;
  6. any advantages to the child if s/he remains with the party who is the primary caregiver;
  7. the anticipated impact of the move on the child;
  8. whether the judge will be able to create a reasonable parenting time schedule if the judge allows the relocation;
  9. whether a party has committed an act of domestic violence, has engaged in a pattern of domestic violence, has a history of domestic violence, and whether the violence happened before or after the original order was entered;
  10. the wishes of the child’s parents as to parenting time;
  11. the wishes of the child if s/he is mature enough to state his/her preference as to the parenting time schedule;
  12. the interaction and relationship of the child with his/her parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
  13. the child’s adjustment to his/her home, school, and community;
  14. the mental and physical health of all people involved;
  15. the ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party (except that, if the court determines that a party is acting to protect the child from witnessing domestic violence or from being a victim of child abuse or neglect or domestic violence, the party’s protective actions will not be considered with respect to this factor);
  16. the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child, considering the values shown, the time commitment made, etc.;
  17. how close the parties live to each other as this relates to a practical schedule of parenting time;
  18. the ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs; and
  19. any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child.2

1 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-129(1)(a)(II)
2 Colo. Rev. Stat. § 14-10-129(2)(c)