What Does Relocation of Children Actually Mean?
If you are thinking of relocating your child either in or out of the state of Arizona to a distance of more than one-hundred miles from where you’re currently living, and you have joint legal decision making, or joint legal custody then you need to provide 60 days advance notice to the other parent that you’re planning to relocate.
As a result of your request the other parent then has 30 days to file a motion to prevent the relocation with the court, and the court is likely to set it for a hearing.
Can you relocate before there’s been a hearing?
The answer is possibly. If you have sole legal decision making, or if you have joint legal decision making, and you’re the primary residential parent then you can relocate for reasons such as:
- health and safety
- or employment if you have a job in another state, and must start immediately.
However, don’t think that just because you’ve relocated prior to a hearing that the judge is going to just rubber stamp your request for relocation.
Relocation of children away from the other parent is very difficult to do. You have to have very compelling reasons for the court to grant it. So move at your own risk!
The judge is really going to look at the whether it is in the child’s best interest to relocate. Everyone has the freedom to relocate but that doesn’t mean that the child is necessarily going to go with you.
The same factors that the court would have used to determine joint legal decision making or parenting time are the same factors the court is going to use for evaluating your request for a relocation.
The courts is also going to look at what the advantages are for the children to make such a distant move such as:
- What is the quality of life that they’ll have?
- What is the likelihood that both parents will be able to have good parenting time?
- What about the emotional physical and developmental needs of the child?
A major factor is going to be the stability if the child. Has the child been primarily with one parent, and if you are that primary parent who needs to relocate, then you have a better opportunity that your request will be approved. But again, it is going to be up to a judge to decide, and every single case is different. Everyone has a unique situation.
Before you make a relocation decision that could potentially be a problem for you, it is always best to consult with an experienced family law relocation attorney. I recommend you schedule a FREE consultation with me and we can discuss your personal family’s needs at this time. Call us today at (480) 833-1113 to make your appointment.