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How does relocation work with child custody?

If you have divorced from your spouse and you have a child, what happens when you want to relocate to a different city or state? It’s a tough question that doesn’t have a straight answer, as every case is going to be a little bit different with a wide variety of factors. However, there are a few things to know about this complex area of divorce and family law.

First of all, you want to go into any relocation discussion with good intentions. Trying to disrupt your former spouse’s connection with your child isn’t just a menacing thing to do to both your former spouse and your child, it could also result in legal consequences for you. A court likely would see through a paper-thin attempt to relocate, with the real intent to cause your ex-spouse pain. This is called “frustration of contact” and it could result in you losing time with your child, or even custody.

With that out of the way, you will want to be organized and prepared when you approach the court with an attempt to relocate. You need a plan that clearly demonstrates why you are moving away, why you want to relocate the child (if that is part of the request) and what sorts of accommodations and goals you have when you arrive at your new location.

You’ll also want to know the specifics of the laws in your state when it comes to relocation. The best interests of the child will weigh heavily over the entire process, as it should. But there could be wrinkles in your state’s law, whether it is here in Colorado or somewhere else in the United States.

Huffington Post, “Divorce Confidential: Your Legal Rights to Relocate Your Child,” Caroline Choi, Aug. 20, 2014

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