How to Build a Strong Case to Relocate with Your Child Post-Divorce

Christopher Sutton
By: Christopher Sutton
PublishedDec 1, 2020
3 minute read

It can be difficult to relocate with your children after your divorce. That’s why it is important to know how you can properly prepare so you have the best chances for success.

Family Law Attorney Christopher Sutton explains how to build a strong case to relocate with your child after a divorce.

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How to Relocate with Your Children After Divorce

It’s much easier to relocate with your child while your divorce is pending. If that’s currently the status of your case, be sure to let your attorney know that you want to move away – even if you don’t plan to relocate for some time.

If you want to relocate and you’re already divorce, you need to act on your wishes as soon as possible, as nothing happens quickly with the court. You likely won’t be successful if you want to move next month. It’s not impossible, but it will be extremely difficult to do.

How Colorado Courts Decide if You Can Relocate with Your Children

A Colorado family law judge is going to want to know how your potential move will impact the existing parenting plan. Will the relocation substantially impact it? The courts will also consider how your move will financially impact both you and your child’s other parent. Finally, a judge will determine if your relocating is in the best interest of the children.

What is a Substantial Impact? 

A judge will consider your move to have a substantial impact on your current parenting plan you and your ex cannot continue it.

For instance, if you have a 50-50 parenting time order, and you want to move two hours away, it is not realistic to think that the other parent will be able to exercise their time with the children anymore.

How Does Money Play into a Relocation?

If you move far enough away from your child’s other parent, that will increase the cost of them exercising their parenting time.

Let’s say you currently live in Colorado and your ex lives in Florida. If you’re suddenly moving to Japan, the cost of exchanging your children is going to increase exponentially. And that will be something that you need to get court permission for.

Is the Relocation in the Children’s Best Interest?

The standard for any relocation comes down to this: is it in the best interest of your child or children.

There are multiple other factors the court will consider to decide whether your relocation should be granted. One of the primary ones is will this move be beneficial for the child, or will it be detrimental?

Evidence You Can Show that Relocation is Best for the Kids

You’ll need to assemble a case about why this move will be good for your children.

A Better Support System

For instance, are you moving closer to extended family? Will there be cousins there that are the same age as your children. The move will mean that they will be near grandparents with whom they have a close relationship. You’ll want to show that by moving you will have some sort of support network that will benefit your kids.

Being Away from the Other Parent is Better for the Kids

You will have to combat the fact that the court will perceive any diminished time your ex has with the children will be a detriment to them. So, your case will need to show that ultimately the children will be better off with the move despite the other parent now having less time with the children.

The Child Benefits from Being in a Different Environment

Sometimes this comes about because the children are not doing well in their current environment. Perhaps they’re struggling in school. Maybe they need to get away from their current friends who are detrimentally impacting their school or their behavior, and a move would improve your child’s life.

Talk to Your Ex if You Want to Relocate

If you’re considering relocating with your children, the first thing you need to do is let that spouse know.

You need to let them know that you intend to move, where you’re intending to move to, why you’re planning to move, and how you envision your parenting time with your ex-spouse continuing following the move.

Your ex-spouse may not agree with you, but it’s actually a requirement that you announce your intent to move before an attorney can file a motion with the court.

Get an Attorney if You’re Considering Moving

As you can see, relocating with your children after a divorce is final is not as simple as packing a moving van and hitting the road for your new home. There are legal boxes you’ll have to check off, including getting the court’s permission.

You will improve your chances of a better outcome by having a legal ally. Schedule a case assessment with one of our family law attorneys when you call 303-688-0944 and speak with one of our family law attorneys.

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