Custody arrangements can be tricky for Colorado parents, but things can get further complicated if one parent moves to another state. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act statute followed in every state in the United States except Massachusetts and Vermont, helps a legal standard for determining which state will handle the child custody arrangements. This is done by establishing which state is the child's home state.
If a child has resided in a state for more than six months with one parent, or has significant ties to a state, such as teachers, doctors, grandparents and close friends within the state, it can be considered the child's home state. The same also applies if a child is removed from the state for his or her safety.
For example, a married couple with a 12-year-old child fails after 15 years of marriage, and the mother moves to Colorado, seeking custody of the child. Since the father still resides in California and the child has grown up in California, the ex-wife will not be able to seek custody in Colorado. However, if it can be proven that the father has a history of alcohol abuse, then the child's safety becomes a concern. In this situation, the state of Colorado may obtain jurisdiction and take over the case.
Child custody issues are often complex, and many factors are considered when child custody arrangements are made. Primarily, the child's best interests are the most important factors in making a determination. For parents going through a divorce, it may be helpful to seek legal advice to better understand the laws and have a professional at your side to achieve the goals you seek.
Source: findlaw.com, "Interstate Custody Arrangements", Accessed April 14, 2015