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Can I relocate with my child after my divorce?

Posted On March 7, 2020 In Child Custody

Once you obtain your Arizona divorce, circumstances may arise that require you to relocate. But if you are a parent, you need to make sure you handle your relocation properly. As the Arizona Code explains, failure to do so could result in the court sanctioning you. 

Whether you have joint custody or sole custody, you must give your former spouse 45 days’ advance notice any time you need to move somewhere else in Arizona over 100 miles from your present location or leave the state entirely. Furthermore, you cannot simply tell him or her verbally by phone or otherwise. You must send him or her a certified letter, return receipt requested. Be sure to keep your receipt. 

If your former spouse objects to your move, (s)he must file a petition with the court within 30 days after notification seeking to prevent your move. If (s)he does so, you will need to appear in court to justify your move. Examples of justifiable reasons to relocate include the following: 

  • You got a better job in a new city or state. 
  • Your health or the health of your child requires the move. 
  • Your safety or the safety of your child requires the move. 
  • Your eviction from your present residence requires the move. 

Whatever the reason for your proposed relocation, you must show the court that this move represents the best interests of your child as well as your own. If the court approves your relocation, the judge may also order additional parenting and visitation time for your former spouse so that (s)he and your child can continue to have a meaningful parent-child relationship.