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Relocation means big changes to child custody arrangements

You are grateful for a promotion at work, but it means moving from Colorado to Utah. Because you are the custodial parent for your daughter, she will go with you.

Obviously, relocation will disrupt the current child custody arrangements, and the family court will have to approve the move. What factors will the court consider?

Reasons for the move

When a parent presents a petition for child custody modification, the Colorado family court will consider the request from various points of view. In your case, relocation for a better employment opportunity is a legitimate reason for wanting to modify your existing child custody agreement. The court will request backup, so you should prepare with information such as a letter from your employer confirming the promotion and the accompanying relocation requirement.

Noncustodial parent approval

The first step in the relocation process is to contact the other parent and explain the situation. Be prepared to offer ideas about a revised parenting plan. For example, your daughter may spend extended time with the noncustodial parent in the summer when school is out, or over various holidays. You can offer to arrange and pay for travel. A flight between Colorado and Utah may take about an hour, whereas driving takes about eight hours.

Factors for consideration

You can strengthen your request for child custody modification by providing information that will illustrate the relocation benefits to your daughter. For example, due to your promotion and a better salary, you can provide more financial stability and improve the quality of life for her. You can also provide details about the new community with its excellent school system and residents who have children her age.

Remember to explain how she will communicate with the other parent and your understanding of the importance of their staying in touch. In the view of the court, the best interests of the child are always the priority. With a comprehensive, well-prepared petition, you can show that this is also your top priority. Assure the judge that you have carefully weighed the issues regarding relocation and have found many more benefits than disadvantages.

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Lakewood, CO 80228

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