Hi, I asked a question about relocation to Mexico the other day. Does it make any difference if I request relocation at initial divorce filing and if I can prove that the non-custodial parent would be unable to keep our child's custody due to his traveling schedule? We don't have any family here on either side, so my child and I are by ourselves 80% of the time...
Obtaining court permission to live where you wish is significantly less difficult in the initial determination of a parenting plan than after orders have entered. The court must perform a best interests analysis for the child/children based upon where each party intends to live. The best interests factors from C.R.S. 14-10-124 are listed below. There are other factors that might play into a decision as well. Is the child a US citizen? Does the move out of the country deprive the child of the benefits of US citizenship? Is the educational system as good as what the child would have available in the US? How is the medical care? Can there be a plan that maintains a relationship with the other parent? I am still advising you to consult with a family law attorney before taking any action.
(I) The wishes of the child's parents as to parenting time;
(II) The wishes of the child if he or she is sufficiently mature to express reasoned and independent preferences as to the parenting time schedule;
(III) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with his or her parents, his or her siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;
(IV) The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, and community;
(V) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability alone shall not be a basis to deny or restrict parenting time;
(VI) The ability of the parties to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other party;
(VII) Whether the past pattern of involvement of the parties with the child reflects a system of values, time commitment, and mutual support;
(VIII) The physical proximity of the parties to each other as this relates to the practical considerations of parenting time;
(IX) Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect under section 18-6-401, C.R.S., or under the law of any state, which factor shall be supported by credible evidence;
(X) Whether one of the parties has been a perpetrator of domestic violence, which factor shall be supported by a preponderance of the evidence;
(XI) The ability of each party to place the needs of the child ahead of his or her own needs.
International Law Attorney
Mr. Littman has provided a very detailed answer therefore I will make an obvious suggestion - get the other parent to agree somehow to the relocation and save all the hassle. If they feel they will not be deprived of vistation perhaps they will agree in good faith.
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You'll want to clearly explain to the judge how moving to Mexico with the child will be in many ways be similar to moving to another US state. Many judges are more likely to agree to a cross-border move after someone clearly explains the international child custody issues.
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