There are special rules in Arizona if one parent wants to move away with a child. Generally, when both parents share legal decision-making authority and substantially the same parenting time, the moving parent is expected to give 45 days’ notice before either:
- Moving a child out of state
- Moving a child more than 100 miles within the state
However, this notice requirement can be set aside under certain circumstances.
You have the right to oppose the move if you believe it is not in your kids’ best interests. However, you generally only have 30 days from receiving the notice to petition the court to prevent it.
Your children’s other parent can also call for a hearing to determine how the move will affect your legal decision-making authority and parenting time.
Whoever asks for a hearing, you should be prepared to come to a reasonable solution while protecting your parenting time and legal decision-making authority. Until your parenting order is modified to account for the move, you should expect to keep to its existing terms, no matter how inconvenient.
The court will make a determination of whether the move is in the children’s best interests. The person who wants the move has the burden of proving that it is. When making this determination, the court will consider a number of factors, such as:
- The past, current and future parent-child relationships
- Interactions and interrelations between the parents, the child’s siblings and other people who affect the child’s best interests
- The child’s adjustment to home, community and school
- The mental and physical health of all involved
- If the child is of suitable age and maturity, the child’s wishes
- Any domestic violence or certain other wrongdoing
- Whether the move is being made in good faith or to frustrate the other parent
- The motives for the move
- The advantages of the move to the parent and child
- Whether the move will allow a realistic opportunity for each parent’s parenting time
- The likelihood the moving parent will comply with parenting time orders
- The move’s effect on the emotional, physical and developmental needs of the child
- The effect of the move on the child’s stability
If you plan to petition to prevent your children’s other parent from moving away with the kids, you should discuss your concerns with your divorce or family law attorney. Together, you can build a case for why the move is not in your children’s best interests.
The rules are somewhat different for military families
Deployment is the number one reason why military parents move, and Arizona law does not consider deployment to be a valid reason to permanently change parenting arrangements. However, if a parent is deploying or moving to another state for military reasons, you can ask the court for a modification of your parenting order to accommodate the move.
If your children’s other parent is moving for military reasons, be sure to discuss your concerns with an attorney who handles military family law.