A military family has unique issues with which it deals from bouts of separation, mental and physical injuries for the soldier abroad, and constant relocation. For those who have gone through a divorce, the challenges are just as particular – especially because many family law systems vary from state to state. Below is some general information about how child custody and parenting time rules differ under Arizona law when it is applied to military spouses.
Child Custody & Parenting Time
Arizona law requires that a court judge consider “the best interest of the child” when determining family law cases. Across the nation, public policy dictates and states agree that a minor child’s biggest necessity is having a meaningful and continuing relationship with his or her parents, including seeing them both on a consistent basis.
It is not uncommon for military personnel to receive a permanent change in station (PCS). This change of location often happens after four to seven years of living on the same military base. The service member is rarely given the choice of when or where the relocation may occur for him or her and the family. For this reason, any already existing child custody or parenting time plan or schedule that was previously agreed upon with a former spouse will be thwarted. Under the best of circumstances, a military parent will be able to successfully coordinate long distance parenting time schedule with his or her former spouse as soon as orders have been received.
If the military parent wants to take his or her child/ren along when there is a PCS order, he or she is still under the obligations imposed by the law. In Arizona, if 1) a court has awarded both parents legal decision-making authority or parenting time (whether by court order or a written agreement between the spouses) and 2) both reside in the state, written notice must be given to the other parent. The law requires the notice be given, in writing (sent certified mail, return receipt requested), of at least 45 days if the parent wishes to:
- Relocate the child/ren more than 100 miles away, but still in the state of Arizona, from the current home; or
- Relocate the child/ren to another state altogether.
Legal Help in Fountain Hills
An informative decision is the best decision when it comes to matters relating to your children. If you or someone you know is a member of the military – or is a military spouse or former spouse – it is important to know about these special issues in order to fully protect yourself and any child/ren after a divorce is finalized. For this reason, it is vital to obtain a competent Fountain Hills child custody and parenting time attorney if you or someone you know is facing child custody issues. Call our firm today at 480.345.2652.