Jurisdiction is defined as "[t]he power and authority constitutionally conferred upon a court or judge to pronounce the sentence of the law." Black's Law Dictionary. A court must have jurisdiction (i.e. authority) to issue a decision in a case.
In general, a Colorado court will only have jurisdiction in a family law case involving children if Colorado is the children's home state.
But, what is a home state? A child's home state is defined as "the state in which a child lived with a parent . . . for at least one hundred eighty-two consecutive days immediately before the commencement of a child-custody proceeding. . . . A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period." C.R.S. 14-13-102(7).
Here is an example: John and Sally are married, have a son, and live in Colorado. John and Sally decide to get divorced and John moves to New Mexico. Sally remains in Colorado with their son. Although John lives in New Mexico, Colorado is the appropriate state to hear the divorce case.
It can get very complicated when families move often or when the child does not have a home state. Filing a case in the wrong state can be costly and stressful. Like many areas of the law, jurisdiction in family law cases can be complicated. This brief explanation is not intended to be legal advice, but is intended to point out the importance of filing a case in the right state.