A common issue divorcing spouses encounter with children is when one spouse plans to relocate to a different state and seeks to bring the child with them. This can result in contentious custody fights concerning visitation and child support. Courts are skeptical of relocation requests by a spouse unless evidence is available to show that the move is in your child’s best interests.
If Your Relocation is Contested, Watch Out for a Petition of Relocation Prevention
You must notify your ex-spouse that you are planning to relocate and want to bring your child with you. Once notice is effectuated, your ex-spouse has thirty days to petition the court to prevent you from bringing the child with you to your new home relocation. Your ex-spouse has the burden of proving that the relocation is not within your child’s best interest, or that the decision to relocate is being made in bad faith (e.g., you are moving out of spite simply to prevent the ex-spouse from seeing their child).
Multiple Factors Considered in Reviewing a Relocation
Courts consider multiple factors when making the decision on a relocation of a child and most courts will place great weight on what is in best of the child, or children, in accordance with A.S.R. 25-403. Therefore, you must show that the relocation is in the best interest of your child and that the relocation is being initiated for a legitimate reason (e.g., a new job) and in good faith (e.g., not trying to simply harm your ex-spouse). Courts will also consider whether the relocation provides an advantage for the child’s quality of life including the emotional, physical, or developmental reverberations of the move.
You are not required to propose a visitation schedule, but the court will probably weigh whether the relocation and the lack of visitation with your ex-spouse are within your child’s best interests. Remember, regardless of the distance between you and your ex-spouse once the relocation is complete, you are legally obligated to uphold the court’s decisions about legal decision making between the spouses, if both spouses are entitled to decision-making authority.
Help Ensure Your Relocation is Granted
If you are contemplating relocation to a new state and need assistance with filing the proper paperwork and fighting against a petition challenging the relocation, contact our Phoenix family law firm right away. We take a team approach to helping you with your family law issue and aggressively fight for your desired outcome. To speak with an attorney about your relocation, contact the Law Office of Ronald L. Kossack online or by calling 480-345-2652.