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Moving with children when subject to an Arizona custody order

On Behalf of | Apr 25, 2024 | Family Law |

An Arizona custody order outlines how much time each parent in the family can spend with their children. It also provides guidance regarding decision-making responsibilities and financial obligations. Parents usually need to remain relatively close to each other to conduct regular custody exchanges with one another. A greater distance between the two parental households can be a major complicating factor for those attempting to share parental rights and responsibilities.

Occasionally, one parent may determine that their best option is to move away after a divorce or breakup. They may want to live closer to family or take a better job in another city. Can someone subject to an Arizona custody order move with their children?

The distance determines someone’s options

Typically, parents need to communicate with one another about any concerns that could affect their co-parenting relationship. A significant move requires advance notice. Any relocation to a new home that is out of the state or more than a hundred miles away from the current residence requires advance notice for the other parent.

One parent proposing a move has to give the other notice at least 45 days before they intend to move. If they do not reach an agreement with their co-parent about that relocation request, then the matter may need to go in front of a family law judge. Judges in Arizona hearing modification requests try to focus on what they think may be in the best interests of the children. The impact the move might have on the other parent-child relationship and the justification for the move could influence what a judge decides to do.

The custody order may need to change substantially to reflect the increased distance between the two parental households. In some cases, judges approve relocation requests even when the other parent is unhappy about the move. They may grant the parent who isn’t moving more parenting time during school breaks to make up for the reduction in regular custody exchanges. Other times, a judge may allow an adult to move but may decline to allow the children to move with them.

The more carefully someone gathers evidence and prepares for a custody modification hearing related to a relocation, the better their chances of securing a favorable outcome. Those who know the rules for move-away requests can comply with state law and can potentially prepare for a hearing in family court if necessary.

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