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How one parent's move may lead to changes in visitation

When Arizona parents divorce, they might agree to live near one another to make it easier for their child to move between households. However, this could change if one parent has a new partner a long distance away. That parent might want to move to be nearer that partner. Even though the parent may make an effort to settle somewhere that is not too far from either their new partner or their child, the commute could be an added burden. The other parent might react angrily and refuse to drive the child to the home of the parent who has moved.

In some cases, situations such as these may escalate because former spouses may still carry a lot of anger toward one another even years after the divorce. However, when the result is that the child is unable to see one parent as often or suffers in some other way, parents may want to look to mediation to resolve the issue.

With the help of a mediator, parents can discuss new transportation and visitation schedules if necessary. They might want to talk about how the parent who moved can help the child adjust to the new community or whether there needs to be a change in child support.

Major changes, such as a modification to a legal child support agreement, must go through the court, but parents may want to try to solve other issues that arise themselves or with a mediator's help. Even if neither parent ever moves, there are many other potential areas of conflict ranging from bedtimes to extracurricular activities to which parent the child will spend which holidays with, education, health care and other issues. Parents might want to consider addressing some of these issues when they write a parenting plan during the divorce.

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