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The role of relocation in an Arizona child custody case

Arizona parents must balance many responsibilities to keep their families' lives afloat. From holding down their jobs to ensuring that their children receive the care and love that they need to thrive, getting through each day can be a struggle when small hurdles arise. In some instances, major changes occur that can throw this delicate balancing act off, and one of those changes is the requirement that an Arizona parent relocate for his or her job.

Parental relocation is an issue that can complicate child custody matters. Creating a custody and visitation schedule when parents live in the same community can be stressful; making such an arrangement work when parents live significant distances apart can be quite another. There are different ways that parents can achieve settlement on relocation matters, though generally their decisions are approved by family law courts.

Parents may expressly agree to allow one parent to relocate with his or her children, if the relocation will serve the best interests of the children. Additionally, a court may approve a request for relocation if the parent has a legitimate, good faith reason for making the move. Reasons that may be considered legitimate include, but are not limited to, the parent's pursuit of higher education, the parent seeking a more cost-effective place to live or the parent desiring to live closer to his or her family for support.

If a parent only wants to relocate to hurt or create problems for the children's other parent, a court will generally not allow such a move to occur. With the understanding that life does not stop simply because a couple divorces with kids, relocation is sometimes a permissible option for those parents who must uproot their lives in order to move forward.

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