Navigating child custody can be a challenging and emotional process for both parents and children. When one parent decides to relocate, it can complicate matters even further. Not only do you have to consider the logistical challenges that come with the move, but you also have to deal with how this affects the custody arrangement.
1. Why Relocation Matters:
Relocation can be a significant factor in child custody cases because it can impact the existing custody arrangement and the child's best interests. The court will examine the motives behind the move. If the parent intends to move to get better employment, improve their standard of living, or be closer to supportive family members, it may be seen as a positive factor. However, suppose the parent intends to move out of spite to keep the children away from the other parent, or it interferes with the child's relationships with extended family members. In that case, it will be seen as unfavorable.
2. The Legal Standard:
The legal standard for a relocation child custody case is "the child's best interests." The court must weigh the factors about the child’s well-being, including age, the parent's work schedules and financial abilities, the quality of education and childcare available in both locations, the mental and emotional health of all parties involved, and any other relevant factors.
3. Sole Custody or Joint Custody:
If the parents share joint physical custody and one parent wants to move, the parent must show that the move is in the child's best interests. The court can modify the custody arrangement and allow the non-moving parent to have primary custody. In contrast, if the moving parent has sole physical custody, the court will usually grant them the right to relocate as long as it is in the child's best interests.
4. The Importance of Communication:
When considering relocation, the moving parent should communicate their intentions with the other parent. The benefits of the move should be discussed, along with how the visitation schedule will continue and how communication will be maintained between the child and non-moving parent. If the other parent is against the move, attempting to come to a resolution through mediation or collaborative law rather than going straight to court is helpful.
5. The Role of an Attorney:
Hiring an experienced family law attorney with knowledge and experience in relocation custody cases is crucial during this process. Your attorney will help you understand the legal proceedings, how to present the best case possible, and any potential drawbacks in your case. They can also help you negotiate with the other party to develop a realistic agreement for everyone.
Colorado Springs Child Custody Lawyers
If you're considering relocation or facing a child custody and relocation dispute, seeking legal advice is crucial. At Drexler Law, our experienced family law attorneys can provide expert guidance and representation to help you navigate this complex process. We're committed to protecting your rights and ensuring the best possible outcome for you and your child. Contact us today at (719) 259-0050 to learn more about how we can assist you with your child custody and relocation needs.