Shared custody can be hard to adjust to after a divorce. Instead of being with your kids all the time, you now have to schedule quality time. If your ex has more parenting time than you, you may feel nervous about your rights in the future.
Especially if things between you remain contentious, you may worry about parental alienation or other unpleasant situations that could damage your relationship with your children.
For example, what happens if your ex decides to move back to California where their parents live or takes a job offer in Colorado? Can parents in Arizona prevent losing their parenting time due to a long-distance move by their ex?
Arizona law restricts relocation after a divorce with minor children
Having both parents involved is usually the best outcome for kids after a divorce, even if it is hard for the parents at first. Limiting how far a parent with primary custody can move is one way to protect those delicate parent-child relationships.
If your ex wants to move out of the state or more than a hundred miles away from where you live during the marriage, they have to notify you and the court before they move.
You have the right to ask the courts not to approve a relocation request
If you know that you won’t be able to see the children more than once or twice a year after they move out of state, you have every right to ask the courts to intervene and prevent the move. You and your ex will then likely have to have a hearing about a custody modification.
The judge will hear both of your perspectives and then try to make a decision that is in the best interests of the kids. If your ex can show that the move will benefit the children and isn’t out of spite or an attempt to alienate the kids from you, the courts may approve it but grant you additional parenting time during vacations and holidays.
On the other hand, they may deny your ex’s request to relocate or even give you more parenting time so that your ex can move and you can stay in Arizona while parenting the children. Gathering evidence about why the move isn’t in the best interests of the children can help you push for a better outcome.