Seasoned attorney, Ron Fineberg, addresses the issue of relocation and what Arizona law requires of parents.
Our divorce was final two years ago. The father and I were granted joint custody of our two minor children with substantially equal parenting time (visitation). Because of my job, I need to move to California. What do I do if the father will not agree to allow the children to move with me?
Under those circumstances, Arizona law requires that the parent who wishes to “relocate” with a child outside of the state, or more than one hundred miles within the state, must provide the other parent written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, at least sixty days prior to the anticipated relocation. If the non-moving parent opposes the relocation, that parent may petition the court to prevent relocation of the child. The petition to prevent relocation must be filed within thirty days after the notice is made, otherwise the petition to prevent relocation may be granted to the non-moving parent only upon a showing of good cause.
If the petition to prevent relocation is timely filed, it is then up to a judge to determine whether or not to allow the parent to relocate the child after considering the “best interests” of the child. The burden of proving what is in the child’s best interest is on the parent seeking to relocate the child. A.R.S. §25-408, 25-403(A) and ARFLP 91(E).