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Handling child custody when a parent wants to move

Divorced and separated parents in Colorado may have a lot to consider when an opportunity arises for relocation. With moves for jobs, family, education and more, a change in child custody is not uncommon, but there are concerns to keep in mind when considering it. In the first place, relocation can make joint or shared custody very difficult. Children cannot spend one week on, one week off when their parents live states, or even cities, apart. In general, relocation will rely on one parent having primary custody, which is something that could change during the relocation process.

Children tend to benefit from having both parents in their lives. If their parents are engaged in a relocation dispute, many family courts will prefer options that inflict as little disruption to the child’s life as possible. Of course, the question of whether changing custody or location will be more disruptive remains an issue to be decided. Courts may generally assume that children would benefit from staying in place, especially if they can continue in their current school with friends and other social support. However, there are strong arguments that parents who want to relocate can make.

A parent may have relatively poor employment and housing opportunities in his or her local area. By relocating, he or she may be able to provide a much better standard of living for his or her child. In addition, a parent may relocate to be closer to family, which can provide a stronger support network for a child. Ex-spouses should consider how they can ensure the other parent remains present and involved in their child’s life.

Relocation may be an emotionally difficult and challenging issue, but it can be an important decision for many single parents to make. A family law attorney may help parents navigate issues concerning child custody changes and relocation to reach a fair agreement.

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