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Colorado law regarding traveling with children post-divorce

As you and your children adapt to a new, post-divorce lifestyle in Colorado, you'll likely encounter several challenges along the way. Divorce can be emotionally upsetting as well as prompt financial changes and cause other daily living adjustments. By letting your kids know you love them, that your divorce is not their fault and you are there to support them as they move on in life, you provide the tools they need to come to terms with the situation.

Beyond the implications your divorce has on your children, you also will be getting used to a post-divorce co-parenting arrangement. It would be nice if all divorced parents could get along well and peacefully address all child-related issues as they arise. Human nature and individual relationship problems sometimes lead to discord. You can often resolve problems by referring to the terms contained in your court order. A particular issue many divorced parents face has to do with relocation or temporarily taking children out of state.

Are you concerned about parental kidnapping?

This troubling issue has devastated many Colorado families. If you have reason to fear that your former spouse may try to abduct your children, there are definite steps you can take to protect your rights and keep your kids safe. One option may be to request an emergency protective order. Some parents who have faced similar problems in the past have petitioned the court to take their children's passports away to prevent others from taking them out of the country.

What about vacations?

Especially if you have a joint custody agreement, there may be little to nothing you can do to stop your ex from taking your children out of Colorado or even abroad on vacation. If you have concerns or believe you have valid reason to stop a vacation, you may wish to access legal resources to determine what options may or may not be available and to clarify your rights.

Court order modification

If your existing court order does not mention vacations, you may request a modification to include specific instructions as to whether each parent may temporarily relocate the kids on vacation. You can customize your agreement if perhaps you are not opposed to your ex taking your kids out of state or overseas as long as you know about it ahead of time and have given your approval.

Can your spouse stop you from traveling with your kids?

If you're the custodial parent and your former spouse has visitation rights, you'll want to make sure you clearly understand the rules regarding your travel plans with your children. Let's say you plan a trip to the beach on the East Coast but those plans would somehow interfere with your existing visitation plan, your spouse may be able to petition the court to stop your vacation.

In addition to vacationing with your children, you or your spouse may desire to permanently relocate, which may impact your current co-parenting agreement. The bottom line is that you never have to do anything (or allow anyone else to do something) that deviates from the terms of your existing court order. If a problem arises, you can seek immediate legal support.

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