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Protecting child custody rights during relocation

The Arizona courts have a detailed process for parents who want to move children who are subject to child custody agreements and orders. Though this post will discuss the requirements generally, readers who are dealing with this complicated legal process should consult with their own divorce or family law attorneys to ensure that their cases are being properly handled.

Moving a child subject to a custody order begins when the parent who wishes to move sends a certified letter to the other parent describing the move. The letter must be provided at least forty-five days before the parent intends to move the child. The receiving parent then has thirty days to petition the court to prevent the move if he or she opposes it; if the receiving parent misses this deadline then he or she may not be able to have the move stopped.

The above-mentioned process only applies when a parent wishes to move a child out of the state or within the same state but at least 100 miles away from the current residence. If a move is approved and a child is taken to a new home, the parents are still bound to abide by the terms of their operating child custody order despite the new distance between them.

A new job or opportunity may require a parent to relocate to a new state. However, such moves can be complicated by child custody and visitation matters. Though courts generally defer to the best interests of the child subject to a custody or visitation order, parents may still be able to relocate if they follow the rules set forth in Arizona law and abide by court orders. Parents who have any questions related to moving with their child, or about any other child custody issues, should contact an experienced family law attorney.

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