Parental Relocation

Parental Relocation with Court Orders

Sometimes, following a divorce, it becomes necessary for one parent to move to a new home, apartment, or condo. Sometimes the move isn’t very far, but if the move is more than 100 miles, it is necessary under the law to notify the other parent and the court. As part of many divorces, parenting time and legal decision-making orders are written down and filed. Once these orders are established, it is no longer a simple matter to move more than 100 miles from your current residence. Relocating with a child requires providing notice to the non-moving parent, and may require going to court to determine whether or not the relocation should be allowed.


Parental Relocation Requires Written Notice

Arizona law requires that written notice must be given to the non-moving parent if the custodial parent plans to move more than 100 miles or out of state with the child. The law specifies that the notice must be sent via certified return receipt mail at least 45 days in advance of the move. The non-moving parent then has thirty days to file a motion to prevent relocation.


Petitions for Parental Relocation

Either parent may file a petition with the court: the moving parent may file a motion to relocate, or the nonmoving parent can file a motion to prevent relocation. In either case, the court must determine if the relocation is in the child’s best interest. Best interest factors include the child’s relationship with each parent and the extended family, the child’s adjustment, the child’s wishes, the physical and mental health of all parties, whether domestic violence has occurred, and which parent is more likely to allow the other parent contact with the child. (For more information read Custody in Arizona).


In addition to the best interest factors, the court must consider additional factors in determining whether the relocation will be allowed. These additional factors include:

  •  Was the request to relocate made in good faith?
  •  What are the advantages of the move?
  •  What is the likelihood that the moving parent will comply with the orders?
  •  Will the relocation allow a realistic opportunity for both parents to parent?
  •  To what extent will the move affect the child’s emotional and physical needs and development?
  •  What are the motives of the parents?
  •  How will the relocation affect the child’s stability?

The parent requesting relocation has the burden of showing that the relocation is in the child’s best interest.


Parenting Across State Lines

If there is a parenting time plan in effect at the time of the move, it must remain in effect following the move. Because it can be very challenging to parent across state lines, such big moves generally require an update or modification to the parenting plan.


Contact The Law Office of Keith A. Singer

The Law Office of Keith A. Singer has been handling Divorce Law, Family Law, and Child Custody Law cases since 2003.

If you have any questions or concerns about a family law matter, please Contact The Law Office of Keith A. Singer or call 520.795.1800.


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For Questions or Concerns Regarding Parental Relocation Please Call the Law Office of Keith A. Singe