• calendar16th Jul 23 11:00 pm
  • userJamie

Moving Out Of State During A Divorce

In criminal cases, the defendant cannot move out of state because that would violate the law. Divorce is not like a criminal case. Moving out of state during a divorce is possible, but it might be difficult, especially if children are involved. As a rule, a couple going through a divorce can move wherever they want while the divorce is pending. However, they usually have to come back to Colorado appear in person for court. There might be some other practical concerns as well. Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help address these challenges. Call (720) 593-6442 for more information.

Residency Requirements for a Colorado Divorce

The State of Colorado only accepts divorce petitions when at least one of the spouses has been living in the state for a minimum of 90 days prior to filing. The divorce petition should be filed in the county in which at least one spouse lives. There is also a mandatory 90-day waiting period after the initial filing before a court can enter a divorce decree, even if the couple agrees on every aspect of their divorce.

There is no requirement to continue to be a resident of Colorado after the divorce is filed. That means that either spouse can immediately move out of state while the divorce is pending. However, the situation becomes more complicated if the couple has children. In general, children cannot be moved out of the state of Colorado while custody determinations are taking place without the agreement of the other parent or an order from the court. Children must live in Colorado for at least six months (or from birth, whichever is shorter) for Colorado courts to have jurisdiction over them.

Divorcing a Spouse Who Lives Out of State

Even if one party moves out of state, they are still subject to the Colorado court’s jurisdiction if the couple resided here while they were married. Only one spouse has to be a current resident of Colorado to file their divorce petition in Colorado. However, if one spouse moved to Colorado from somewhere else and the other spouse never lived here, then you may not be able to file for divorce in Colorado. The other spouse has to have some connection to Colorado, usually because they lived here at one time. The connection to the state could also come about because:

  • They own property in Colorado
  • They have business interests in Colorado
  • They were personally served with divorce paperwork within the State of Colorado
  • They frequently come back to visit so that they have “minimum contacts” with the state

If they do not have that connection, then the court will not be able to call them into court in this state. For instance, if one spouse moved to Colorado following a physical separation, but the other spouse has never set foot in the state, it is unlikely Colorado would have jurisdiction. In that type of situation, the spouse may need to file a divorce petition in the state in which the couple lived before one spouse moved to Colorado.

Timing Issues: When To Make a Move

Moving away during any legal proceeding can be challenging. However, divorce and child custody issues present unique hurdles for those who want to move. Those going through a divorce might want to consider postponing any move out of state until after the divorce is finalized. Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help evaluate your unique situation and assist you in thinking through the pros and cons of moving out of state, including determining the timing of that move based on your legal concerns.

Moving Out of State During a Divorce

If the couple does not have children, both spouses are free to move wherever they would like during a divorce. However, moving during a divorce can have some practical concerns that individuals should consider.

  • Getting back for court dates and trial preparation. In most situations, individuals will need to appear in person for court hearings. They might also need to appear in person for depositions, and working with their divorce attorney in person is often helpful to prepare for trial.
  • Cost of living concerns. Some divorces have temporary orders in place for things like child support and alimony. Those payments are based on the income and expenses each person had when the order was put in place. If someone moves, those items may change, but the order will not change without asking the court to alter it. The court does not grant every request. The result could be that the cost of living is much higher in the new state, but temporary payments continue at the same rate, creating some financial challenges. The process of moving out of state is often expensive in its own right, as well.
  • Changing support networks. A divorce can be extremely emotionally and mentally challenging. Moving out of state can often force someone to change their support network, which can result in mental and emotional instability. Anyone going through a divorce should have a good support network of people they can rely on and talk to about their situation, and making a change too soon can be detrimental to someone’s well-being as they work through a divorce.

Divorce is a life-changing process in many different ways. Be sure to think through any potential move thoroughly before you take any drastic action.

Moving Out of State After a Divorce

In general, individuals without children can move wherever they would like after a divorce. Colorado courts will still have jurisdiction over aspects of the divorce in many situations. As a result, if there are any disputes in the future, a former spouse who moved may need to come back to Colorado to address concerns.

The rules surrounding moving if children are involved are much stricter. A parent will usually have to petition the court to move children out of state, and they must often have a good reason for the move, especially if it will make it harder for the child or children to see their other parent. Parents will need to come up with a new parenting plan as part of the relocation request. If parents cannot develop their own plan, they can often ask the Colorado State Courts for help by filing a Motion to Relocate Minor Children.

Get Help With Moving and Divorce

Colorado Divorce Law Group may be able to help individuals consider some of the more complicated aspects of moving out of state during a divorce, or even after a divorce, especially if children are involved. Set up a meeting with an experienced Colorado divorce attorney by calling (720) 593-6442.