When a Parent with a Court-Ordered Parenting Plan Decides to Relocate.
Must the Courts Seek to Have the Wisdom of King Solomon?
Ruling in the Best Interests of the Children
When a parent who already has a court-ordered parenting plan makes the decision to relocate and the proposed relocation makes the parenting schedule impossible to follow, it becomes necessary to modify the allocation of parental responsibilities. When a motion for a post decree modification has been filed, the courts are tasked to consider the best interests of the children involved. The Court will want to know why a parent has decided to move and will seek a complete understanding about why the move is in the best interests of the children. The courts want to be fully appraised of the advantages the move will have on the child, but they are also aware of the obvious disadvantages. In all relocation cases, the court must address the fact that the child will no longer have proximity to their other parent.
Ruling in the Wisest Way Possible
Like King Solomon, when faced with such a dilemma, the court wants to rule in the wisest way possible. They must begin by finding out if a relocation is indeed the best plan and they will want to know all the parent’s reasons for the move.
The advantages associated with moving away from the other parent that are most often cited by relocating parents often include:
· They are moving to the location of their new spouse’s job
· They are seeking to lower their cost of living
· The parent has obtained a better job with more money and more opportunities for advancement
· There are better schools and more opportunities for the child in the new location
· The relocation would mean they would be closer to family members
· A move would allow them to live a much safer neighborhood
Weighing the Facts of the Case
But, even if all the factors listed above apply, the Colorado Court must still decide if the positive aspects associated with the relocation outweigh the negative aspect of the children not being able to maintain a close relationship with their other parent. When a parent relocates to an area that is a great distance from the child’s other parent, it becomes difficult to maintain a parenting schedule that allows the child the frequent and meaningful access required to have a strong relationship with both parents.
When the children of divorced parents are relatively young, it is often a challenge for them to travel to see the other parent. And older children often have educational and/or social commitments that makes it difficult for them to be away from home.
Like King Solomon, the family law court must consider the complicated nature inherent in relocation cases. The choices are difficult.
· If the court allows the child to move with the relocating parent, then the children and the other parent will suffer from distance and a diminished relationship.
· If the parent relocates and the children are ordered to stay in Colorado, then the relocating parent’s relationship with the children will suffer.
· If the relocating parent decides not to relocate and maintain the current parenting plan, the chances of their own future happiness could suffer.
Unfortunately, all relocation cases create a conundrum. No matter how the court rules, someone is going to lose. Like Solomon who had to decide which mother would prevail when demanding the right to a child, the decision the Colorado courts must make also means that someone will suffer.
Scheduling a Free Consultation
If you have children and are considering filing for a post decree modification regarding a relocation matter in the Stater of Colorado, call Elissa Bercovitz and schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your legal matter
Working with Elissa Bercovitz, Esq.
Elissa Bercovitz at the Bercovitz Law firm has a Colorado family law practice that is focused exclusively domestic relations matters. Elissa Bercovitz handles family law matters in the Denver Metro area and counties throughout the State of Colorado. She has experience with domestic relations matters related to relocation cases, post decree modifications of parenting plans, the dissolution of marriage (divorce), legal separation, the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities (parenting time and child support), maintenance (spousal support/ alimony), paternity, step-parent adoption, the division of assets and debt, LGBTQ family law matters, guardianship, and mediation.
Call Elissa Bercovitz
If you are seeking to be represented by a compassionate Colorado family law attorney with over 20 years of legal experience and a lawyer who is familiar with the Colorado courts, judges and magistrates, please call Elissa at 303 803 1678. You can also simply fill out the online contact form, so Elissa can schedule a free consultation for you to discuss your legal matter with you in detail.