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What steps must you take if you want to move after your divorce?

Your Colorado divorce can be a fresh start for you and for your kids. Sometimes, making the most of this opportunity will require drastic changes beyond the mere end of your marriage.

Many people find that they will also move to a new home or even change jobs in the immediate aftermath of their divorce. Others may feel compelled to move somewhere closer to their families to get support while they rebuild their life.

Whether you have just received an incredible job offer or hope to live rent-free with your parents while you get back on your feet, moving after a divorce with minor children has some challenges you need to address. That isn't to say that you can't relocate after the end of your marriage, only that you will have to take additional steps to do so.

Review your parenting plan for relocation limits

When the Colorado courts allocate parental rights and responsibilities in a divorce, one of the primary concerns is usually protecting the relationships of the parents with the children. The courts will often place a specific limit on relocations by the parent with whom the children spend more time.

Sometimes, the courts will restrict parental relocations to within the same county, city or school district. Other times, they will list a distance in miles. Any relocation that exceeds those limits will require court approval.

Once you know what restrictions your parenting plan has on relocation with the children, you can then determine whether you have the right to move or if you need to ask the courts to review the situation.

File any necessary motions well before you need to move

If you are fortunate and your ex agrees that the move is both necessary and beneficial for the children, you may be able to file an uncontested motion for relocation. However, if your ex worries that the move will impact their ability to spend time with the children, they may ask the courts to intervene.

You can still secure the right to relocate with your children after the divorce, provided that you can demonstrate the necessity of the move to the courts and that doing so will be in the best interests of the children. Intention and necessity will matter a lot to how the courts decide in any given case.

The courts are unlikely to grant relocation requests made by parents who do so with the hope of cutting the other parent out of the life of the children. However, if it is clear that there are family supports or financial opportunities available if you relocate that are not available at your current location, the courts may consider your request more favorably.

What happens if the courts won't approve your request

With any kind of motion to amend a parenting plan or change the allocation of parental responsibilities after a Colorado divorce, the risk always exists for the courts to deny the request. If the courts do not approve your request to relocate, there could be a variety of outcomes.

In some cases, the courts will modify the original parenting plan to give more parenting time or responsibilities to your ex so that you can move. Other times, you may simply have to adjust your plans for the future to reflect the fact that the court won't allow you to retain all of your current parental responsibilities and relocate.

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Centennial, CO 80111

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