Relocation After Divorce
Divorce & Relocation Lawyer in Colorado Springs, Parker & Pueblo
It is common in the months and years following a divorce for one of the spouses to decide to relocate to another city or state. New job opportunities, better living conditions, proximity to friends and family, the wish to distance oneself from an ex-spouse with a history of domestic abuse, and the desire to make a fresh start are all common reasons to move after a divorce. When children are involved, the matter can be quite complicated.
If the other parent has rights of shared child custody or
visitation, then you will most likely have to get his or her agreement to the move. If agreement is not possible, then you will have to persuade a family law judge to rule in your favor. Failure to do so can result in harsh legal penalties, including criminal charges of parental kidnapping and loss of your own custody and visitation rights.
Whether or not the other parent is in agreement with the proposed move, you will have to secure an official modification to the existing agreement for parental responsibility and parenting time. In order to do so, it is necessary to demonstrate to the judge that the planned relocation is in the
children's best interests and that it is not merely an attempt to spite the other parent and prevent them from having a meaningful relationship.
Your ex-spouse has an opportunity to contest the move based on evidence that the move would be unnecessarily disruptive to stability in the children's lives, such as by removing them from an existing support network of friends and family. Colorado Springs divorce attorneys from our firm can help you present a case for relocation or fight against a petition for relocation.
When is a petition to relocate necessary?
A modification of court orders is not necessary in every case. If, for example, you are moving from one part of Colorado Springs to another, this would not likely necessitate a modification. The law on parental relocation, Colorado Revised Statutes §14-10-129 (2012) "Modification of parenting time," states that such a modification is required for a move that "substantially changes the geographical ties between the child and the other party."
If you are planning to relocate to Pueblo, Parker, Denver, or somewhere farther away, you will most likely have to obtain a modification in court. To learn more about your own case and to take the first steps in filing your petition for relocation, contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP. Our Colorado Springs divorce lawyers represent parents on both sides of the issue and are ready to fight for your right to maintain an active role in your children's lives.