Other Family Issues

questions & answers

Question: My husband and I are being sued by my husband's mother for visitation of our 1-year-old son. We were not married at the time the petition was filed, but we have since been married. A judgment has yet to be made, however my husband has recently been offered a job opportunity in another state that requires we relocate before our next court date. We are in the process of notifying the court, however we fear his mother will object to the transfer and not allow us to relocate to another state. Does his mother have the right to keep us from relocating?

Answer: Thank you for sending your question to AZLawHelp. First to address whether a person other than a parent can have custody or visitation time (or "parenting time") with the child, the law has certain specifications. The law provides that a person who stands in loco parentis to a child may ask the court for parenting time. To be in loco parentis, a person must have been treated as a parent by the child and have formed a meaningful parental relationship with the child for a substantial period of time. There are other requirements that must be met before such a request may be made to the court. One of the child's parents must be deceased, the child's legal parents must be unmarried, or a court case for divorce or legal separation between the legal parents must be pending (see section 25-415, Arizona Revised Statutes).

Second, if a parent wants to move away from Arizona with the child, then the law provides that the parent with physical custody desiring to move with the child must give 60 days' notice to the other lawful parent before the child may be moved more than 100 miles from the other lawful parent or from the state. The 60-day period gives sufficient time to the non-moving parent to request a hearing to stop the move. However, for a parent who is required to relocate in less than 60 days, both lawful parents must be in agreement of the move or have a court order allowing the move of the child. If an agreement cannot be reached in the situation of required relocation in less than 60 days, the moving parent must file a request with the court.

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QUESTIONS

  • My husband and I are being sued by my husband's mother for visitation of our 1-year-old son. We were not married at the time the petition was filed, but we have since been married. A judgment has yet to be made, however my husband has recently been offered a job opportunity in another state that requires we relocate before our next court date. We are in the process of notifying the court, however we fear his mother will object to the transfer and not allow us to relocate to another state. Does his mother have the right to keep us from relocating?

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