Can My Ex Move Out Of State If We Share Joint Custody?

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My ex and I share joint custody of our son after a divorce several years ago, though she has primary physical custody. We have maintained a very good co-parenting relationship, but I recently found out she is moving out of state.

She claims that she wants to “work something out,” but has basically implied that I am just going to have to deal with it.

I do not agree with this move, so what are my legal rights?

share joint custody
Colorado divorce attorney Marlana Caruso


In Colorado, where I practice, one party cannot unilaterally relocate the minor child. They must first obtain agreement of the other party or permission of the court.

A relocation is defined as a move that would substantially change the geographical ties between the other parent and the child. In other words, a move that would make your current parenting orders impossible to continue.

Review your parenting orders carefully to see if there are any provisions restricting either party from relocating and enforce them. Let your ex-wife know, in writing, that you do not agree with her removing your child from the state.

If she leaves with your son, there are criminal ramifications to that action, and you would need to file a motion to enforce your parenting time with the court.

If your ex-wife follows the proper procedures for relocation, she will need to formally request permission from the court to move with the minor child out of state.

This will result in a hearing being set in order for the court to determine if it is better for your child to stay with you or go with mom and have a new parenting plan issued. However, each state has its own requirements for relocation.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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