A year from now you will wish you had started today.

-Karen Lamb


There are two moments when a party may relocate: pre-decree or post-decree. Where you are at the time you wish to relocate to a new geographical location will determine how you will present your case.


If you are in a pre-decree or pre-permanent orders situation, relocation may be a little easier. The standard for a pre-decree relocation case is the best interests of the child. This was determined by a case titled Spahmer v. Gullette, 113 P.3d 158 (Colo. 2005). In Spahmer, an unmarried couple had a dispute. The mother moved to Arizona with the minor child. The father was not pleased and filed a Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities and a Motion For Temporary Restraining Order, seeking to require the mother to return to Colorado with the minor child. The trial court ordered the mother to return to Colorado. But, on appeal, the Colorado Supreme Court reversed the trial court’s decision and ruled that the trial court does not have the authority to order a parent to live in a specific location and that the trial court must accept the location in which each party intends to live and allocate parental responsibilities and parenting time according to the best interests of the child. Thus, the best interests of the child standard rules in a pre-decree relocation case. Mark Anthony Law has been successful in assisting clients achieve the best interests of their children in pre-decree relocation matters.


If you are in a post-decree or post-permanent orders situation, relocation just got a little bit more difficult. It is still attainable and Mark Anthony Law has helped a number of clients achieve relocation in a post-decree situation, but it becomes a more complex and sophisticated argument.


C.R.S. § 14-10-129, among others, is the statute to consider if a party wishes to relocate in a post-decree case. In re the Marriage of Ciesluk, 113 P.3d 135 (Colo. 2005), is the case most noteworthy on this situation. Ciesluk solidified the statutory requirements.


If a party desires to relocate with a child or children, the Court considers the best interests of the child or children as well as other factors including:

(2)(c)(I) The reasons why the party wishes to relocate with the child;

(II) The reasons why the opposing party is objecting to the proposed relocation;

(III) The history and quality of each party’s relationship with the child since any previous parenting time order;

(IV) The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location;

(V) The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and at the proposed new location;

(VI) Any advantages of the child remaining with the primary caregiver;

(VII) The anticipated impact of the move on the child;

(VIII) Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the change requested is permitted; and

(IX) Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interests of the child;


It is apparent that different factors apply to different types of relocations. But, remember, every relocation turns on the facts and the situations of the parties. Whether pre-decree or post-decree, in the middle of litigation or before litigation even has been filed: Relocation can be difficult to deal with on one’s own.


Call us today for help in preparing for and navigating through your relocation. Give us a call. We can help.

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