Colorado has adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), codified at C.R.S. 14-13-101, et seq. This law allows Colorado courts to register an out of state child custody determination. It is a simple process that requires a form that can be found on the judicial website, a filing fee, and certified copy of the child custody determination. If you have relocated to Colorado from out of state, it is important to register the applicable child custody order if you want Colorado courts to be able to quickly enforce the order. If you have questions about register an out-of-state order please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
Once the out-of-state order has been registered in Colorado, Colorado Courts can modify the out of state order, if one of the following is true:
- Colorado is the child’s home state, which means the child has lived here with a parent or acting parent for the six-month period immediately preceding the filing of a Colorado child custody action (or for the child’s life, if the child is less than six months old),
- Colorado was the child’s home state within six months prior to the filing of a custody action, and a parent/acting parent still lives in Colorado,
- No other state has jurisdiction, or the child’s home state has declined to exercise jurisdiction on the grounds that Colorado is a more convenient forum, and the child has a significant connection to Colorado,
- Colorado initially entered parenting orders (e.g. a Colorado divorce or paternity action), and either the child or one of the parents has lived in Colorado continuously since then, or
- Temporary emergency jurisdiction exists because the child is physically present in Colorado and has been abandoned or some other emergency, such as abuse, threatens the child.
Modifying an out of state order is a more complicated process, than registering an order, thus if you need an out-of-state order modified, particularly if it has not been registered in Colorado yet, you should consult an attorney before proceeding. The attorneys at Smith, Shellenberger, and Salazar, LLC would be happy to help you with that process.