Relocating with a Minor Child

By July 16, 2015Divorce and Military
Boy with young man on moving day carrying cardboard box

Yes, moving can be exciting, but how is it affected by Divorce?

By Christopher M. Nicolaysen
Staff Attorney
The Gasper Law Group, PLLC

In today’s transient society, parents that have been divorced in Colorado will often move out of this state and seek to take their child or children with them. The relocation of a party out of the State of Colorado can impact the amount of parenting time both parties will have with their minor child(ren). In Colorado, relocation of a minor child(ren) is controlled by statute and case law.

Pursuant to C.R.S. § 14-10-129, when the parent with whom the minor child resides the majority of the time seeks to relocate with the child to a residence that substantially changes the geographic ties between the child and the other party, the primary residential parent shall provide to the other parent with (1) written notice as soon as practicable of the intent to relocate, (2) the location of where the party intents to reside, (3) the reason for the relocation, and (4) a proposed revised parenting plan. Relocation hearings are given priority on the court’s docket.

Both the relocating parent and the non-relocating parent share equally the burden of demonstrating why it is in the child(ren)’s best interest to relocate or stay. In re the Marriage of Ciesluk, 113 P.3d 135 (2005). Further, the Court in Ciesluk stated, a court must begin its analysis with each parent on equal footing; a court may not presume either that a child is better off or disadvantaged by relocating with the majority parent.

The Court must consider all relevant factors, including the best interest of the child factors from C.R.S. § 14-10-124 and (1) the reasons why the party wishes 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 of the child remaining with the primary caregiver; (7) the anticipated impact of the move on the child; (8) whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the change requested is permitted; and (9) any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child.

Relocating with a child(ren) is not as easy as packing your bags and moving. Procedures must be followed and the relocation must be shown to be in the best interest of the minor child(ren). Relocation cases with a child(ren) are emotionally difficult because parenting time will change for both parents and child(ren) involved. If you have questions about relocating with a minor child or children, please contact The Gasper Law Group to schedule a free consultation with a Colorado Springs Family Law Attorney.