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Relocation may become more difficult in Arizona

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Recently, members of Arizona's Senate Judiciary committee narrowly approved legislation that could have a significant impact on the ability of divorced or divorcing parents to relocate. Issues involving relocation in child custody cases can be difficult and emotionally charged. This legislation seeks to provide additional protections for non-custodial parents with respect to the issue of relocation. 

The legislation has not yet been presented to the full Senate for a vote, but it proposes that any custodial parent that is planning to move any distance at all must obtain permission of the former spouse prior to doing so. If the former non-custodial parent objects to the plans to move, the issue would be presented before a judge.

Currently, the law in Arizona provides that a custodial parent seeking to move must give notice 60 days prior to the relocation by certified mail. Additionally, a custodial parent can move up to 100 miles without obtaining the permission of the other parent. Many lawmakers are concerned that this new legislation could create new and unwanted burdens for certain custodial parents who may only want to relocate a few miles or need to move closer to a new job. 

The legislation may be changed prior to its presentation before the full senate. One suggestion was that instead of drawing a line at 100 miles, the law should just require that permission be obtained if the proposed relocation would create significant disturbances in the ability of the non-custodial parent to enjoy their co-parenting privileges, such as school drop off or parenting time.

Many of the issues surrounding child custody can be difficult to work out and require open lines of communication between the parents. Ultimately, the most important objective when determining child custody matters is what is in the child's best interest. An experienced family law attorney can help those that are struggling with these issues to obtain the best possible result.

Source:  eastvalleytribune.com, "Potential Arizona law would affect divorced parents attempts to move kids", Howard Fischer, Feb. 12, 2013

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