Child Custody and Relocation Laws in Arizona
Moving your child out of state, or more than 100 miles within the state, can trigger what is known as a “Relocation” in Arizona Family Law. Of course, in a relocation case, there are two sides to the coin. One parent wants to move with the child, and the other parent wants to prevent the move. In order to relocate—or to prevent relocation—certain steps must be taken. Failure to follow the correct procedures can have serious consequences. Our firm has represented both parents seeking to relocate with the minor children and parents seeking to prevent relocation.
Moving out of state—or other relocations—with a minor child can be difficult, but it is not impossible. This can be a complicated area of Family Law because there are many factors that can affect the Court’s decision. Contact us and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to discuss the necessary steps to take and how to best present your case to the court.
Can You Move with Your Child?
People are often faced with having to consider a move to another state, or a move of significant distance, for various reasons. For Example:
- A parent—or their spouse—needs to relocate for work? Maybe their employer closed a location or merged with another company and the employer is requesting that they transfer.
- A parent—or their spouse—has been offered a better employment opportunity in another state. Perhaps this opportunity presents better pay, considerably better benefits, and/or room for advancement in the profession that could not be obtained in Arizona.
- A parent has lost their job and is unable to find employment in Arizona. Maybe that parent needs to move to a place where they have financial support or family to help care for the child while they are looking for work or while they are starting a new career.
- Parents have also sought relocation for personal health reasons or to care for a family member.
The specific reasons for relocation, as well as the other parent’s involvement in your child’s life, can have a major impact on your case and trigger certain procedures that must be complied with. Ultimately, the court’s focus is on the best interests of the children. As such, the court will order what it believes is in the best interests of the child.
What Custody Laws Regulate Moving Out of State with a Child in Arizona?
When contemplating moving with your child (or wanting to prevent relocation), the first place to look is your parenting plan. Sometimes, parenting plans can have provisions specific to relocation. Next, look to A.R.S. § 25-408 which outlines the notice requirements, parenting time requirements, and burdens that must be met in order to be successful in a relocation case. Every case is unique and presents its own issues. Because of the unique nuances each case presents, you should seek the guidance of an experienced family law attorney to help you navigate the process.
Can I Move Less Than 100 Miles with My Child?
Regardless if you think your move will trigger the relocation requirements or not, it is important to discuss your case with an experienced family law attorney. Even if the move does not specifically trigger the relocation requirements, moving can have a significant impact on your parenting time plan depending on your specific situation. For example, a move may cause so much disruption to the children and the current parenting time schedule that the current schedule is no longer in the best interests of the children, making a modification of the plan appropriate.
Can I Prevent the Other Parent from Moving Out of State with My Child?
The other side of a relocation case is when one parent wants to prevent the other from moving out of state—or further than the permitted distance—with the minor child. Often, parents receive either formal notice or informal notice of another parent’s intention or wish to relocate. If the parent fails to respond appropriately, it can have a significant, negative impact on their case. Parents who become aware of the other parent’s intention or wish to relocate should promptly discuss the situation with an experienced family law attorney to ensure the appropriate documents are filed timely.
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TWe are here to answer your questions, discuss your options, help you understand your rights, and, if we represent you in your case, our lawyers will guide you through every step of the process as efficiently as possible.
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