In today’s transient society, many people move from one state to another for a myriad of reasons, such as being close to family or for a new job. Often these moves can and will change the dynamics of a parenting plan that is already in place between two parents if one of the parents wants to move and take the child or children with them. In this article, I will describe the law and the procedure for modifying an existing parenting plan based on a relocation.
Colorado Law – C.R.S. 14-10-129
The Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 14-10-129 details the procedure and requirements for modifying a parenting plan based upon a relocation. Specifically, C.R.S. 14-10-129(1)(a)(II) states, In those cases in which a party with whom the child resides the majority of the time is seeking to relocate with the child to a residence that substantially changes geographical ties between the child and the other party, the court, in determining wither the modification of parenting time is in the best interests of the child, shall take into account all relevant factors, including those enumerated in paragraph (c) of subsection (2) of this section.
The parent looking to relocate with the minor child must provide the other parent (1) written notice of their intent to relocate with the minor child, (2) the location of where the parent intends to reside, (3) the reason for the relocation, and (4) a proposed revised parenting plan.
The Factors – C.R.S. 14-10-129(2)(c)
Section (2)(c) of C.R.S. 14-10-129 states, In determining whether the modification of parenting time is in the best interest of the child, the court shall take into account all relevant factors, including wither the modification of parenting time is in the best interest of the child (see our article on the best interests of your child) the court shall take into account all relevant factors, including whether a party has committed an act of domestic violence, has engaged in a pattern of domestic violence, or has a history of domestic violence…and:
- 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; and
- Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child.
Lastly, a court hearing on any modification of parenting time due to an intent to relocate shall be given a priority on the court’s docket.
Relocating to another state can be a process, but if you follow the law and steps above, you can eliminate unnecessary stresses and missteps in your case. If you have questions about relocating with your child and modifying your parenting plan, please contact the attorneys at Springs Law Group LLC to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the best steps in preparing for your case. We are here to help you with all of your Family Law needs in and around the Colorado Springs area.
Christopher Nicolaysen is a Family law Attorney who practices in Colorado Springs, CO. He graduated from Denver Sturm College of Law, and has been practicing law for several years now. Christopher Nicolaysen is passionate about helping you solve your family matters. Learn more about his experience here.