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Relationships Built On Trust

Relocation can throw a child custody plan up in the air

by | Apr 8, 2020 | Child Custody

It takes a long time to craft a parenting plan. Whether it comes as part of a divorce settlement or as an agreement between two parents who were never married, there is a lot of negotiation involved in dividing parental responsibilities in a way that works for the children and both parents.

After going through all that work, it is perfectly understandable for a parent to want to keep the plan exactly as it is until the child is all grown up, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes parents have to request modification to parental responsibility plan.

Sometimes the reason is a new job, a new marriage or other life changes make the old plan unworkable. One relatively common scenario that makes for a lot of difficulty is relocation.

If a parent moves to a new house or apartment just across town, it may not be a big deal, but if the parent moves to a new town, or to a new state, it can completely render a well-crafted parenting plan useless, and throw both parents’ lives into turmoil. Unfortunately, that kind of turmoil can be bad for the kids, as well.

Remember that even if the children live with one parent most of the time, both parents have some sort of visitation and decision-making rights with regard to their children. When a parent who has the children moves far away, it interferes with the other parent’s ability to visit their children.

With this in mind, Colorado family law courts require relocating parents to seek approval from the other parent before they move with the children. If the other parent agrees, the parents can ask the court for a stipulation allowing the move. If they don’t agree, they will have to ask the court to intervene.

These cases can be difficult. Parents may have good reasons for moving, and the court may find that the move is in the child’s best interest. However, the court must consider the other parent’s rights as well. With the help of a skilled family law attorney, parents can protect their relationships with their children, their personal interests, and most importantly, the best interests of their children.