Your child’s other parent contacts you and tells you they plan to move and take your shared child with them. What do you do? Can you stop them? What happens if they’ve already moved?
If you find yourself in this position, don’t do anything rash. Here are some important things to know if you have shared child custody even as an unmarried couple.
You Have The Right to be Informed of The Other Parent’s Intention to Move
As long as no action has been taken to terminate your parental rights, your child’s other parent must give you advance notice that they plan on moving. If they move without informing you, that is most likely a violation of your custody order. If they do this, they could suffer serious penalties should you pursue legal action. Depending on the specific details, this could even result in modifications to current custody arrangements.
You Have The Right to Dispute Such a Move in Court
Even if you do not have primary custody, you do have the right to maintain a parental relationship with your child. If the other parent wants to move, and that decision will have a negative impact on your relationship with your child, you have the right to involve the courts. Unless there are very extenuating circumstances, your ex will have to delay any plans to move until the case is resolved.
What Factors Colorado Judges Consider in Such Cases
When your case is heard, your judge will want to know several things about your current custody arrangements, your relationship with your child, and how the move will impact you and your child. The following items will be considered specifically:
- Your reasons for objecting to the move.
- The other parents reasons for moving.
- Whether or not there is extended family support in the new or current location.
- Your relationship with your child including frequency of visitation and other contact.
- The quality of the schools in your child’s current location as well as the proposed new location.
- The impact of the move on your ability to maintain the same relationship with your child.
- The emotional impact of the move on your child.
- Whether or not it’s in the best interest of the child to remain with the parent who has primary custody.
While there’s no way to fully predict the outcome of these cases, you are more likely to get a favorable resolution if you can prove that you have maintained a healthy and consistent relationship with your child.
There Are Multiple Ways to Resolve These Custody Cases
While a judge may simply grant your child’s other parent permission to move or order them to stay put, those aren’t the only possible resolutions. They might grant the other parent permission to move, but modify holiday and summer visitation to increase the time you have with your child. They may also require that the other parent take on the cost of transporting your child for visitation. These are just a few options at the judge’s disposal.
If you are in this situation, the best first step is to contact a qualified Brighton child custody attorney. They will be able to provide you with the advice you need for your specific situation and put you in the best position to get the resolution you want.