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Arizona’s relocation law may limit a parent’s options to move

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Child Custody

Like many other states, Arizona has what commonly gets called a relocation statute.

This law limits the rights of parents to move with their children when those parents are subject to child custody orders. Tucson parents should be aware of what this law requires.

If parents have any questions about whether they or their ex are allowed to move, they should also review their court orders. These child custody orders may include additional rights and obligations.

Also, if these orders address a parent’s planned relocation, then Arizona’s relocation statute may not apply.

How the relocation statute will work depends on a family’s particular situation

The relocation statute may apply differently to different situations. For this reason, a person with questions should also consult an experienced family law attorney.

Basically, the statute applies if the parents have joint legal custody. It also applies if either parent has court-ordered parenting time with the child. Both parents also have to be residents of Arizona for the law to apply.

The parent wanting to move with the child outside of Arizona or move more than 100 miles will need to properly notify the other parent 45 days in advance.

After receiving notice, the other parent must challenge the relocation by filing a petition with the court within 30 days. If the other parent does not file a challenge within that time, they may lose their right to stop the move.

However, the parent wanting to move may want to ask for a court hearing themselves.

One reason is that after a move, the court’s parenting time orders otherwise remain the same.  To give an example, a parent might have permission to move 100 miles away from Tucson. However, the other parent may continue seeing the children every weekend with parents splitting transportation costs if that is what their court order says.

Parents who want to move must follow Arizona law, the court’s orders

Parents who move without following the relocation statute  will face penalties from the court.

These penalties can include paying the other parent’s legal fees. They also can include the loss of custody or parenting time if the court believes that penalty to be in the children’s best interests.

If there is an ongoing dispute between the parents about relocation, then the court will decide the matter by considering the best interests of the children.

Among other factors, the court will look closely at the reasons for the move and the possible impact it will have on the children.