When a couple goes through a divorce, it’s not uncommon for one parent to relocate due to job, family, or other life matters. However, if a parent wishes to move away with the children, it can affect the divorce process. To simplify the situation, it’s important to understand your state’s family laws and how to resolve potential conflicts. Here’s what you should know about the laws regarding this matter in the state of Arizona.
A Guide to Relocating With Children After a Divorce
What Are Arizona’s Laws on the Matter?
According to Arizona family law, the term “relocation” involving children of divorced parents refers only to long-distance moves — specifically, a move out of state or one equal to 100 miles away within the state. In these cases, if both parents live in Arizona and share joint legal decision-making or parenting time, the parent who wishes to relocate with the child must notify the other parent at least 45 days before the planned move.
If the nonmoving parent opposes the move, they may petition against it in court. The judge will then hold a hearing to decide whether to grant permission for relocation. After hearing live testimony from the parents, relatives, friends, and any other relevant parties, the judge will make their decision based on the following factors:
- How the move will impact the child mentally and physically
- Why the moving parent wants to relocate with the child
- How the move will impact the non-moving parent’s visitation
- Whether the moving parent is attempting to interfere with the non-moving parent’s visitation
- What the child prefers, if of sufficient age and maturity
- Any other factors the court deems necessary
How Are Disputes Settled?
If the judge allows a parent to relocate, the nonmoving parent’s access to the child will be impacted, which often leads to disputes. In these cases, parents can agree to modify their parenting time to satisfy both parties.
Typically, this modification gives the nonmoving parent longer but less frequent visits with the child. In addition, since the nonmoving parent will be farther away from the child, both parents may need to reach new agreements about expenses such as child support and travel costs.
If the parents cannot resolve disputes on their own, the court will determine the outcomes, keeping the child’s best interests in mind while aiming to protect both parents’ relationships with the child.
If you’re dealing with a post-divorce relocation, turn to the team at Knochel Law Offices. For more than 30 years, these dedicated family law attorneys have been serving Bullhead City, AZ, and the surrounding areas. They have the expertise and passion necessary to ensure the best outcome for every child and parent. Learn more about their services online, and call (928) 444-1000 to schedule a consultation.