Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: I have joint custody with my ex, but i have to move due to financial probs. I will not be able to have the kids because their school will be too far away. Do I need to file something with the court. I fear my ex will say I abandoned the kids.

Answer: It depends on how far you move away. The sensible thing to do would be to (politely) inform your ex-partner - preferably in writing - that you need to move for financial reasons, and carefully explain why. You should then propose a new parenting plan that accommodates the increased distance between the two of you. Once common solution is to give the primary physical custodian a greater (or even exclusive) share of the school nights in return for allocating compensation time to the other parent during school breaks (spring, summer and fall). Remember that an alteration to the visitation plan does *not* necessarily have to alter the shared *legal* custody arrangement. Legal custody involves the right to make major life decisions (e.g. schooling, church, counseling, extracurricular activities, medical, etc.), and has absolutely nothing to do with which roof the child happens to sleep under on a given night. If your ex-partner will not cooperate, then you may have to file a petition to permit relocation (if you want to take the children with you) or a petition to modify parenting time. Family Law Rule 91 and A.R.S. § 25-408 both explain how to accomplish those goals.

QUESTIONS

  • I have joint custody with my ex, but i have to move due to financial probs. I will not be able to have the kids because their school will be too far away. Do I need to file something with the court. I fear my ex will say I abandoned the kids.

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