By Jessica M. Cotter, Esq.
Once you have sent the notice that you plan to move with the child and someone filed a Petition to relocate, then it is up to the court to make the decision if it will allow the relocation. The court looks at the following factors in determining if they will allow children to move:
· Whether or not the parents can agree on joint legal decision making authority
· If there is no agreement, why? Is the failure to agree reasonable or is it influenced by another issue that does not involve the best interest of the child(ren).
· The past present and future ability of the parents to cooperate in making decisions regarding the child(ren)
· Is the contemplated order logistically possible?
· What do the parents want?
· What are the wishes of the child(ren)?
· The child's relationship with other family members or other people that may impact the child's best interest.
· The child's adjustment to home, community and school.
· The health of parties, this includes mental health.
· Who will allow frequent and meaningful contact with the other parent?
· Who has been the primary caregiver?
· Has there been any coercion of duress in obtaining an agreement.
· Have the parties taken the parenting class.
· Has there been domestic violence or child abuse as defined in A.R.S. 25-403.03
· Whether one parent has intentionally mislead the court to cause a delay or increase the cost of litigation.
· Whether asking for the child to move is not being done to stop the other parent from seeing the child or to make it difficult on the non moving parent to have a relationship with the child.
· The potential improvements to the child’s quality of life and the potential improvement for the custodial parent’s quality of life.
· Is the parent that the child is ordered to live with going to comply with the court orders about parenting time?
· Whether or not the relocation will allow a realistic opportunity for parenting time with the other parent.
· Whether or not the relocation will affect the child’s emotional, physical or developmental needs of the child.
· The effect on the child’s stability if the child moves.
· The motive of the parent who wants to move including if that parent gets more child support as a result.
These factors can be found at A.R.S. Section 25-403, and at A.R.S. section 25-408. The state legislature has been reviewing the relocation statute with an eye on making changes to it. The information provided in parts 1 and 2 represent the law at the time these posts were written, but understand that these statutes are subject to change.
As you can see trying to move with a child is very difficult to do. Please contact our office for a consultation or arrange one with an experienced family law attorney in your area.
The Law Firm of Jessica M. Cotter, P.L.L.C.
18301 North 79th Ave F-168
Glendale, AZ 85308