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Relocation Cases

Parents who are still married–or even parents who are not married–and do not have any court orders specifying who is a child’s primary residential custodian have equal custody rights to their children. However, until court orders are established, either parent can leave the state with the child. If one parent leaves the state with the child without the other parent’s consent, the parent remaining in Colorado may have some recourse. He or she can immediately ask the court to order the other parent to return the child. Even if the court gives such an order, though the parent in Colorado may or may not have success getting the authorities in the other state to assist in enforcing the Colorado order. (See Kim’s article about relocation)

If one parent wishes to relocate outside of Colorado, he or she can request the court to grant permission to relocate. In such a case, the court will consider the following factors:

  • 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
  • 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 relocation is permitted
  • Whether the child’s present environment endangers the child’s physical health or significantly impairs the child’s emotional development and the harm likely to be caused by a change of environment is outweighed by the advantage of a change to the child