I have sole custody of our child. We are divorced, and both live in Arizona. There are no pending or active court orders that involve permission to move. I am not in contempt of court. The only state law I can find is A.R.S. 25-408, stating I must give the other parent 60-days notice of us moving. What I am trying to figure out is, if I give the other parent a minimum of 60 days notice via certified mail (as ARS 25-408 instructs), and the parent does not respond within 30 days by petitioning to the courts against the move, is that a "green for go" to move out of state? ARS 25-408 stops at "the parent may petition within 30 of notice," but does not specifically say that the custodial parent is allowed, or not allowed to move.P.S. Our divorce and custody orders were filed and processed through the State of Arizona.
The reason it doesn't say that is because it is not necessarily a black and white answer, and you may find that different lawyers and different judges interpret it differenting.
ARS 25-408F states:
Pending the determination by the court of a petition or application to prevent relocation of the child:
1. A parent with sole custody or a parent with joint custody and primary physical custody who is required by circumstances of health or safety or employment of that parent or that parent's spouse to relocate in less than sixty days after written notice has been given to the other parent may temporarily relocate with the child.
2. A parent who shares joint custody and substantially equal physical custody and who is required by circumstances of health or safety or employment of that parent or that parent's spouse to relocate in less than sixty days after written notice has been given to the other parent may temporarily relocate with the child only if both parents execute a written agreement to permit relocation of the child.
You need to take your parenting plan and meet with an experienced family law attorney to discuss, in confidence, what your options are and the risks associated with each option.
Disclaimer - This response is provided as general information only and does not constitute legal advice or otherwise establish an attorney- client relationship between the person posting the question and the attorney submitting the response. This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. It is also to give you general information and a general understanding of the law. It is not intended to give you specific legal advice. For matters involving custody and parenting time, it is recommended that you contact an attorney for a legal consultation. Wilson-Goodman & Fong, PLLC, has offices in Gilbert and Queen Creek, and handles cases in both Maricopa and Pinal Counties. There are several family law attorneys at the firm, each with different levels of experience and cost, to suit your specific needs.
I agree with Ms. Goodman. Without assessing all the facts it is difficult to give you a hard, fast answer. At a minimum, if you comply with the statute and he fails to object as required by the statute, you would have a good argument to relocate. However, because moving out of state almost always results in a parent losing visitation with the minor child, it is an issue that is carefully scrutinized by most courts. This is an issue that you really should consult a lawyer about.
The answer above is based on the minimal facts provided in the question. The answer could change if additional facts become known. Another attorney may have a different view of the question. Consulting with an experienced Arizona family law attorney is strongly suggested. The response given to your question does not create an attorney client relationship.
While I do agree completely with the responses given by Ms. Wilson-Goodman and Mr. Jensen, it appears that you are correctly interpreting the legal requirement, "60 days written notice."
HOWEVER, the other parent can still file an objection even after the 30 days or even after you have left the state. As long as you properly noticed the other parent in accordance with ARS 25-408, then the court will not likely find you did anything wrong, however there will still be issues to be resolved.
The court can order whatever it finds to be in your child's best interest and at a minimum, will need to address the issue of a long distance parenting plan.
Yes, at that point you can move, but sit down with an experienced family law attorney before you do anything. We are but one of the many family attorneys that offer free consultations.
Information provided on this site does not constitute legal advice. We offer free initial consultations that require completion of a questionnaire detailing your situation and a personal one-on-one attorney interview to provide qualified legal advice.
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