Forms and Letters: Family Law

questions & answers

Question: How can I request permission to move counties? I currently live in Maricopa County, wanting to move to Pinal County with my children and fiancé, but not sure how to receive permission from judge or other parent. Is it possible to be told "No" and we have to stay here forever?

Answer:

The following is provided for general information only. To find out how the law applies to a specific situation, please contact an attorney directly.

According to Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) § 25-408, if both parents live in Arizona, the parent with physical custody desiring to move with the child must give 60 days' advance written notice to the other parent before the child may be moved more than 100 miles from the other parent or outside of the state. The 60-day period gives sufficient time to the non-moving parent to request a hearing to stop the move.

The notice shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, or pursuant to the Arizona rules of family law procedure. The court shall sanction a parent who, without good cause, does not comply with the notification requirement. The sanction could affect the legal decision-making or parenting time only in accordance with the child's best interests.

A parent who is seeking to relocate the child can petition the court for a hearing, on notice to the other parent, to determine the appropriateness of a relocation that may adversely affect the other parent's legal decision-making or parenting time rights.

The court will determine whether to allow the parent to relocate the child in accordance with the child's best interests. The burden of proving what is in the child's best interests is on the parent who is seeking to relocate the child. The court makes the determination on whether the parent with physical custody can move with the child based on the child's best interests by considering all relevant factors including:

1. The factors prescribed under section A.R.S. § 25-403.
2. Whether the relocation is being made or opposed in good faith and not to interfere with or to frustrate the relationship between the child and the other parent or the other parent's right of access to the child.
3. The prospective advantage of the move for improving the general quality of life for the custodial parent or for the child.
4. The likelihood that the parent with whom the child will reside after the relocation will comply with parenting time orders.
5. Whether the relocation will allow a realistic opportunity for parenting time with each parent.
6. The extent to which moving or not moving will affect the emotional, physical or developmental needs of the child.
7. The motives of the parents and the validity of the reasons given for moving or opposing the move including the extent to which either parent may intend to gain a financial advantage regarding continuing child support obligations.
8. The potential effect of relocation on the child's stability.

For general information, view the Child Custody Article.

An individual can apply for free or reduced fee legal assistance on AzLawHelp.org by clicking on the link under the LegalLEARN section or visit the Access To Justice Online Intake System directly at www.azlawhelp.org/accesstojustice.

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  • How can I request permission to move counties? I currently live in Maricopa County, wanting to move to Pinal County with my children and fiancé, but not sure how to receive permission from judge or other parent. Is it possible to be told "No" and we have to stay here forever?

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