In today’s mobile society, child custody and relocation in Arizona is an important consideration when settling a divorce. While it may not be a concern today, it may be later. Arizona is known to be a “commuter” state with many families moving in and out depending on jobs and other factors.
Even if relocation is not an immediate concern, it should be addressed in the divorce agreement. It unrealistic to think your former spouse would never move, especially if they are a non-Arizona native, as so many people are.
Considerations made for relocation in Arizona include:
1. If the move is more than 100 miles away, is it necessary? Often in today’s economy, families move to find jobs in other parts of Arizona or in other states.
2. The parent with primary physical custody must inform the other parent of their intent to move at least 60 days prior to the move.
3. The other parent may contest the move at least 30 days before the move is to take place. In this case, the court will determine what is in the best interest of the child. For older children, this may mean they speak their wishes to the judge.
4. Even if the move is uncontested, the other parent still has parenting rights and visitation as outlines in the custody agreement.
The bottom line is that if one parent is considering moving more than 100 miles from the other, we recommend consulting with a family law attorney. It is important to understand parental rights and to act in the best interest of the child or children.
For more information about custody issues or other family law matters, please contact the Stuart & Blackwell team.