We have not yet started the divorce proceedings and there is not child custody order in place. I understand he COULD petition me to come back, but do I need to advise him of my intent to leave the state with our daughter?
You should NOT do this.
The Court will require you to come back with the child and at that point you will have uprooted the child and severely hurt your child custody case going forward. Court generally see maintaining the status quo for the child as the most important thing to protect the child's best interests. Moving away from your husband probably seems like the best thing for you but it is patently not the best thing for the child.
This is a very risky decision. If you choose to relocate without providing father advance notice, there can be serious repercussions. However, there can also be legitimate reasons to do so. I would need to know more before I could give you more specific advice.
It seems you may already be aware that once you either party does file for dissolution, there is a court order, a preliminary injunction, which prohibits either party from leaving the jurisdiction of the court with the child.
It would be my suggestion that you discuss this issue in significant detail with an attorney of your choosing before making a decision.
A qualified and experienced family law attorney can of course assist you in considering your options and then getting where you need to be. Most of us offer free, ½ hour consultations, in which your matter can be discussed in detail. That would be a great opportunity to discuss the specifics of your matter and develop a plan. I would encourage you to quickly schedule this free consultation.
Legally, there is CURRENTLY nothing stopping you from moving out of Arizona.
If you move, the typical thing that will happen is he will contact an attorney, the attorney will file a motion for you to return to the state, and I'd say in the overwhelming majority of cases, the parent who moved is ordered to return the child to Arizona. Then, in the subsequent child custody, that decision is used against the parent who tried to move.
I'd recommend you consult with an attorney before you take any action.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. I'm licensed only in Arizona.
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