Arizona's custodial parents may want to keep their eye on a pending bill, which could complicate the moving process. SB 1038 would eliminate the current law's rule permitting a court to take a parent's best interest into consideration when determining whether a custodial parent's move is justified. The proposed law would instead restrict a court to considering the best interests of the child.
Supporters of the proposed law say the change is long overdue. They claim the law as it exists now allows a custodial parent to essentially move unchecked, so long as the distance is not greater than 100 miles. Yet, many parents will move a distance shorter than 100 miles many times, eventually getting them beyond the limit without court interference. Proponents of the pending bill say the change will eliminate this sneaking away from a noncustodial parent and will allow the noncustodial parent to spend more quality time with the child.
Opponents of the bill, on the other hand, are concerned the change would put custodial parents in a difficult situation. Since the pending bill would require 45 days' notice of a potential move, custodial parents may find themselves in a position where they are forced to break the law if they cannot find adequate housing that fits the law's parameters, especially in a situation where they have to move from their current residence within 30 days.
Though this bill is not yet law, Arizonans should keep an eye on it and any other potential changes to child custody laws. If one has questions about the law and how it might affect his or her specific situation, he or she should consider consulting an Arizona family law attorney. A lawyer can help the individual address issues of divorce, sole custody, joint custody and visitation rights. Though custody battles can often be heated, an experienced attorney may be able to ease the process and fight for what is best for the child.
Source: Arizona Daily Sun, "Law would restrict moving options for divorced parents," Howard Fischer, Feb. 8, 2014