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Child custody modification and relocation in Arizona-Part II

Arizona residents may concur that a divorce becomes even more difficult when children are involved. In the best interest of the child, U.S. courts, including those in Arizona, usually order one parent to have custody of the child and order the other parent to pay child support. However, as many Arizona couples would agree, things are changing in some cases. In fact, there could be a substantial change in the circumstances surrounding the living arrangements of the custodial parent or the other parent and the child. One parent may need to relocate.

In an earlier post, the idea of one parent wishing to relocate with the child was discussed. In that case, the parent is obligated to give two months' notice. The noncustodial parent will have one month to file a petition in opposition to the notice. After the one-month period has expired, the petition to prevent relocation will only succeed if the objecting parent can show a justifiable reason for the objection.

However, the parent will be allowed to relocate if the proposed order of relocation receives the approval of the court. If a petition to prevent the relocation is pending, the parent who has physical custody or sole custody of the child will be permitted to relocate with the child, even if the move is only temporary. The parent who has physical custody also may come to an agreement with the other parent and then relocate. Both temporary relocation orders may occur if the custodial parent is relocating for health reasons or because of employment.

Under all circumstances, the court will determine what is in the best interest of the child before it decides whether to allow the parent to relocate. The parent who is relocating must prove in the Arizona court that relocation is in the best interest of the child. The court will try to ensure that the other parent is still able to maintain a stable relationship with the child.

Source: LRCVAW.org, "Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-408, Arizona Relocation Statute," accessed May 26, 2015

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