She is moving to GA. Their father wishes to keep them with him. The boy, 10, has lived here since he was 1. The girl, 7, was born and has only lived here. He is trying to prevent her from moving with them out of state. They currently each get them every other week.
His first step should be to speak with a local attorney immediately, because often time is of the essence in these cases.
That said, he would need to file a Petition to Prevent Relocation with the Court. In cases where the parties share equal time, it is not common for a Relocation to be granted. There is a series of factors the court will look at to make its determination, and I recommend he sit down with an attorney who can give a thorough legal analysis of how each factor will apply to his case. For instance, the Court will look at the children's adjustment to home and community, and this factor will likely favor against relocation.
Many firms, like mine, offer free consultations.
This answer is provided for general information only and is not to be construed as legal advice. This response is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Time to hire an attorney to protect father's rights and do what is in the best interest of the children. Talk with some lawyers, hire the one you feel best comfortable with and start the process.
Family Law Attorney
The mother is required to give father written notice of intent to relocate at least 60 days prior to moving. The father then has 30 days to contest relocation by filing a Petition, either to prevent relocation or to modify legal decision making and parenting time. Even if the mother fails to give written notice, father should file his Petition as soon as possible.
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Child Custody Lawyer
The first step is to change your mind set. She is attempting to move to GA. Your first step is to contact an attorney and speak with them regarding your options. Many firms, like my own, offer free consultations.
After you meet with an attorney you need to file a Petition to Prevent Relocation. By filing the Petition you alert the court that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. Generally in these types of cases I file for an expedited temporary orders hearing and request that the matter be hear as soon as possible. Take a look at the statute 25-408 (there is link on this answer).
The Court generally tries to get these types of cases on the calendar as soon as possible.
If Mother leaves the state and you have an order that prevents her from relocating she may be guilty of custodial interference and face criminal charges.
If the children go to school here and have lived here she has the burden to show how her relocation is going to be so great for the children that it outweighs your right to see the child/ren on a consistent basis. This is very difficult to do.
Be aware that if she does get to relocate, modifying that order is very difficult. The Court will not want the children to move again. It is imperative that you get out in front of this situation.
I hope this helps. Good luck with your situation.
ARS 25-408 governs the relocation of children outside of the state. You can read that thoroughly to understand the requirements of each party when one parent desires a relocation. I have linked the statute to this response. Also, I agree with the other attorneys that hiring a lawyer is a good option in this circumstance.
Judd S. Nemiro
Law Offices of Judd S. Nemiro, PLLC
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