Within the context of family, relocation occurs when one parent decides move a child or children from the current home after a divorce. Arizona, like many other states in the nation, have particular rules and requirements in order to do so and a court may or may not allow the relocation depending on the circumstances. If you or someone you know is thinking of relocating his or her family in Arizona, below are a few factors to understand before seeking the legal counsel of an experienced Tempe family law attorney and making an informed decision.

Steps to Take

Arizona law requires specific steps be taken by a parent seeking to relocate a child or children from the home. Specifically, if both parents have been awarded parenting time or legal decision-making authority, notice must be given to the other spouse if a parent wishes to move the child/ren out of Arizona, or more than 100 miles from the home (but still within the state). This requirement applies whether the joint responsibility was given by way of a court order or through an agreement between the parties. The notice must be:

  • In writing and sent via certified mail, return receipt requested; and
  • Given at least 45 days in advance.

A parent who receives such notice generally has 30 days to petition the court and request to stop the relocation.

Factors Considered

When determining whether or not to grant the relocation, an Arizona judge will consider the same factors used when determining who should have legal decision-making authority and parenting time in addition to:

  • If the relocation is being made in good faith and not for the purposes of interfering or frustrating the relationship with the other parent;
  • Whether the move will improve the general quality of life of the child or custodial parent;
  • How likely the moving parent will follow parenting time  orders;
  • How realistically the move will allow each parent to have parenting time with the child/ren;
  • How the move – or denial of the move – will affect the child’s physical, emotional or developmental needs of the child/ren;
  • Possible effect of the child/ren’s stability as a result of the move; and
  • The parent’s motives and the validity of the reasons given for the relocation.

Tempe Parenting Time Attorney

If you or someone you know has questions relating to relocation of your child/ren – or legal decision-making authority, parenting time, or any other family law related issue – contact the experienced legal professionals at the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack. With years of experience servicing families throughout the state of Arizona, Mr. Kossack can assist you every stage of the way and answer any family law-related questions you may have. Contact our firm by calling (480) 345-2652 to schedule your initial consultation.