Relocation

Phoenix Parent Relocation Attorney

No doubt we live in a mobile society.   This can even be a challenge for an intact family, but where there are unmarried parents in two different homes, with two different lives, a relocation can be even more challenging.

And in particular in Arizona many residents come from “somewhere else” and have strong ties to other communities.  When their family unit falls apart, they often seek the support and comfort of family members in distant states.  Families are faced with difficult decisions when one parent moves to another state or even a great distance within the same state.

Relocation Rights in Arizona

As a proactive matter, either parent can petition the Court to move or prevent relocation.  There are provisions addressing relocation built in the Arizona Family Law Statute, and in particular there are notice requirements that a parent must give prior to relocating with a minor child, unless the parents have already made a written agreement regarding relocation within one year, in which case there is no further requirement for notice.

The statute provides that where both parents are entitled to joint legal decision making or unsupervised parenting time, and both parents reside in Arizona, at least 60 days’ advance notice must be provided to the other parent before relocating the child either outside the state or relocating more than one hundred miles within the state.  Failure to comply with the notification requirement could cause the court to impose sanctions.

If the non-moving parent petitions the Court within 30 days of receiving notice they may prevent relocation of the child.  After the 30 days, the a petition to prevent relocation may be granted only on showing good cause.

Custodial Parent

There are certain situations where a parent may temporarily relocate with less than 60 days written notice.  This is where the parent has sole legal decision-making or joint legal decision-making and primary residence of the child, and is required to relocate due to health, safety or employment of themselves or their spouse.  In such a case, they are permitted under the statute to relocate while a Court determination is pending, but it is not a guarantee that they will receive a favorable final outcome.

Child’s Best Interests

The Court is going to look at the child’s best interests, with the burden on the parent seeking to relocate the child that relocation is in the child’s best interest.  To the extent practicable, the court is required by statute to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the continuation of a meaningful relations between the child and both parents.

An Experienced Phoenix Parent Relocation Attorney Can Help

To learn more about your rights and responsibilities in the event of a relocation affecting your child, contact the Scottsdale, Arizona estate planning and divorce firm at Heller Law Office, P.L.C. 602-453-4200.