When a parent wants to move out of Arizona and take his or her child to another state, it is vital for that parent to have a firm grasp of the legal arguments, which can be complex. It is also extremely important to have the right litigation strategy and know which evidence to present to the court. The court will grant a relocation request only under certain circumstances, so failure to make the appropriate arguments in support of the move-away can easily result in the court denying the request.
Likewise, if you are the parent objecting to the request to relocate, it is critical that you are well-prepared, that you know what evidence is important and that your case is presented in a competent and convincing manner, if you want to be able to prevent the relocation.
At Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC, our Queen Creek and Gilbert parent relocation attorneys understand that maintaining a positive and caring relationship with your child is critical to both you and your child. We work hard to ensure that our clients’ interests — and the interests of their children — are protected where there are legal decision-making (custody) disputes.
Parent Relocation and Child Move-Aways Under Arizona Law
If you do not follow the appropriate legal procedure, you can be held in contempt for violating the terms of your parenting plan or parenting time order. Where the parents have joint legal decision-making rights, Ariz. Rev. Stat. §25-408 requires the relocating parent to give at least 60 days advance written notice by certified mail before the parent may relocate the child either out of the state or more than 100 miles away within Arizona. The nonmoving parent then has 30 days to file a petition with the court to prevent the relocation.
Failure to file a timely petition could result in the court allowing the relocation on a temporary or permanent basis. Because a move to another location may effectively preclude or limit the Arizona resident parent from exercising regular and frequent visitation, the courts take parental relocation and child move-away cases very seriously. The judge will want to ensure that the move is not simply an attempt to deny the other parent visitation, but that there are compelling reasons for the move, such as:
- A better paying job
- The presence of emotional and financial support from extended family
The court will look at the degree of involvement of the other parent in the life of the child and the age of the child. The judge will also examine the financial ability of the parents to afford the travel expenses associated with long-distance visitation. Frequently, a mental health expert, often called a custody evaluator, is needed in order to give an opinion as to the best interests of the child.
Learn More From Our Child Move-Away Attorneys
If you need to relocate out of state, or if you wish to prevent your child from being removed from Arizona, you will need to understand your rights under Arizona legal decision-making (child custody) law. Contact our lawyers online or by calling our Gilbert office at (480) 503-9217 or our Queen Creek office at (480) 686-9400.