Phoenix Child Relocation Lawyer
It is not uncommon for one of the parents to desire to move with the children out of state/or even to the other side of town. Relocation raises significant legal decision making (child custody), parenting time (or visitation) and child support issues, especially if the relocation is out of state. If one parent is contemplating moving out of state, both parents should consider consulting with a Phoenix relocation lawyer.
Pursuant to Arizona law, both parents are generally entitled to reasonable parenting time to ensure that the child had frequent and continuing contact with the parents. Relocation disrupts this contact, as the decision to remove a child from the state will affect the other parent’s parental rights. As such, moving out of State with the children presents a difficult problem and the moving parent must establish that the move is in the best interests of the child.
ARIZONA CHILD CUSTODY STATUTES
Arizona statutes apply to relocation cases. The Court first looks to the best interest factors in general, and then to specific relocation factors as set forth below:
- The relationship of the child with the parents,
- The wishes of the child as to the custodian depending upon age and maturity,
- The interaction and relationship between the child and the child’s parent or parent’s the child’s siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest.
- The child’s adjustment to home, school and community,
- The mental and physical health of all individuals involved,
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent,
- Whether one parent, both parents or neither parent has provided primary care for the child,
- The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement re custody,
- Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under §13-2907.02.
- Whether the relocation is being made or opposed in good faith and not to interfere with or to frustrate the relationship between the child and the other parent or the other parent’s right of access to the child.
- The prospective advantage of the move for improving the general quality of life for the custodial parent or for the child,
- The likelihood that the parent with whom the child will reside after the relocation will comply with parenting time orders,
- Whether the relocation will allow a realistic opportunity for parenting time with each parent.
- The extent to which moving or not moving will affect the emotional, physical or developmental needs of the child.
- The motives of the parents and the validity of the reasons given for moving or opposing the move including the extent to which either parent may intend to gain a financial advantage regarding continuing child support obligations.
- The potential effect of relocation on the child’s stability.
NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS: WHAT TO DO IN ANTICIPATION OF RELOCATION.
When the parties share legal decision making, both are entitled to unsupervised parenting time and both parents reside in the state of Arizona, at least sixty (60) days advance written notice shall be provided to the non moving parent before the moving parent relocates the child outside of Arizona or relocates the child more than one hundred 100 miles within Arizona unless a provision for relocation exists in the parties’ parenting plan or by court order which specifically permits or prohibits the child’s relocation. The required written notice must be made by certified mail, return receipt requested. A parent that does not comply with notification requirement can be subject to sanctions pursuant to A.R.S. §25-408.
Within 30 days of receiving the notice, the non-moving parent may request a hearing to prevent the relocation. A parent with sole custody or joint custody and primary physical custody may be allowed to relocate pending a hearing if health, safety or employment require it. A parent who shares joint custody and substantially equal physical parenting time may only relocate pending a hearing if both parents execute a written agreement to permit the relocation of the child. Otherwise, the parent must obtain the permission of the court. Other factors may apply.
SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY WITH REGARD TO MOVE-AWAY / RELOCATION ISSUES?
If you desire to relocate with your children, or if the other party desires to relocate with your children, this is probably one of the most important times for you to consult with a family law attorney. If you relocate with the children without the other party’s permission or a Court order, the judge may be very upset and may go so far as to grant the other party custody of the children.
On the other hand, if the other party is planning to relocate with the children, and you oppose the move, we highly recommend that you file a motion to prevent the relocation as soon as possible. The Court is more likely to preclude a party from relocating with the children if the move has not taken place yet, as opposed to requiring a party who already moved with the children to move back if a motion was not timely filed to prevent such move.
The attorneys at Bishop Law Offices, P.C. have represented many parents dealing with issues surrounding child relocation and move away requests. If you have questions about your rights as a parent, contact an attorney today.