Moving out of state after divorce? Be prepared

Divorce brings a lot of changes, especially for people with children. One of the most crucial is deciding where to live. It’s estimated that one out of every four custodial parents moves to a new community within two years, frequently to another state.

Considering a move of that magnitude depends upon many things. For instance, is your ex on board? Also, does your custody agreement allow you to relocate with your children? While it may not be an easy decision, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons.

Does the court need to be involved?

In many cases, a custody agreement will have to be amended when custodial parents want to move to a new state with their kids. That can be challenging as the court may need to consider:

  • How many miles you can relocate away from the other parent
  • How visitation will be affected
  • Whether to grant sole custody to one parent to create a more stable environment for the child

Like most states, Colorado seeks to award custody based on the best interests of the child. Judges typically want parents to have shared custody. However, that can be difficult when they live in different states.

Consider other practical effects of a move

One of the most crucial aspects of a significant move is getting your kids on board. Not only does a divorce subject them to the same stress you’ve been under, but they also face the prospect of leaving behind friends, their school and activities. There are also financial considerations to keep in mind, such as:

  • The living costs in your new community
  • How much you can afford for housing and other necessities
  • Building a budget and figuring out where to cut back, if necessary
  • Moving closer to relatives who can provide financial and emotional support

Considering whether a move is worthwhile

Putting your child’s – and your own – safety and mental health first should be the top priority when thinking about moving after a divorce. Younger kids often adapt easier to change, while older children may present more challenges.

Keeping your kids and your co-parent involved in the discussion can help alleviate some of the stress and anxiety for everyone. While you deal with the emotional and financial aspects of the move, an experienced family law attorney can help you navigate the legal requirements of your custody agreement.

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