Arizona Child Custody and Relocation

Arizona Child Custody and Relocation

Arizona Child Custody and Relocation

Whether you want to relocate with your child or prevent the child’s other parent from relocating with your child,  the right attorney can help protect your rights and answer questions pertaining to relocation issues.

A.R.S. §25-408 sets forth the legal requirements for relocating with a child when both parents have “joint legal decision power and unsupervised visits.” The statute declares that the relocating parent must notify the non-relocating parent at least sixty days before the move. If they don’t agree to the move, the non-relocating parent must contest the move within thirty days. Given the strict deadlines, you need responsive attorneys  to represent your interests in Arizona child relocation disputes.

What kind of custody is necessary to relocate my child?

A parent must have either sole custody or joint and primary physical custody to request child relocation. If parents share physical custody equally, parents cannot relocate the child without a hearing.

How does the Arizona Court define relocation?

A.R.S. §25-408 identifies relocation as  moving one hundred miles within the state, or moving outside the state. Obviously, relocation can make it difficult to visit and participate in parenting decisions.

How does the Arizona Court decide whether to allow the relocation?

The court presumes that children will benefit from regular contact and visitation from both parents.  Therefore, if a non-relocating parent objects to the move, the relocating parent must prove that the move is in the child’s best interests. A.R.S. §25-403(A) lists the factors that the court will use to determine whether the move benefits the child.

Included in these considerations are:

  • The relationships of the children to their parents and others
  • The child’s acclimation to his surroundings
  • The health of all parties involved
  • Whether the parents are cooperative
  • The child’s preferences, if appropriate

The court also considers negative behavior of a parent that can make the court more sympathetic to the other parent.

A.R.S. §25-408(H) lays out the following factors when deciding whether to allow a parent to relocate a child:

  • Is the move in “the best interests of the child”?
  • Is the move in good faith or intended to disrupt the other parent’s parent-child relationship?
  • Will the move improve the child or parent’s lifestyle?
  • Is the custodial parent likely to comply with the “parenting time orders”?
  • Will both parents be able to realistically have parenting time?
  • How will relocating or not moving affect the child’s overall well-being?
  • Do the parents have valid reasons for opposing or desiring the move; will either parent receive “continuing child support obligations”?
  • Will relocating affect the child’s stability?

If you move a child without following the proper procedure, you could lose custody.  Sometimes, the court will allow the relocating parent to make a temporary move.

Enholm Law can represent your interests and guide you in the proper procedure, whether you want to oppose a relocation or relocate. Contact us at 602-889-6273 if you are faced with a relocation dispute.