Relocation of Minor Children: What to Expect

Relocation of the minor children are some of the most challenging and emotional cases filed within the family courts. This is especially true if you are the parent seeking permission form the court to move. The judge is tasked with burden of weighing competing interests: One parent whose life will be improved by the move vs. the other parent who may be deprived of frequent and meaningful contact with the children.

Under Arizona law, when making a custody and/or relocation decision, the Court is guided by the "best interests of the child" standard. It is important to remember that it's not enough for the relocating parent to prove that the relocation would improve his or her own quality of life. The relocating parent must to show the relocation is the best thing for the child.

Pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-408, In determining the child's best interests the court shall consider all relevant factors including:

1. The factors prescribed under § 25-403.

2. Whether the relocation is being made or opposed in good faith and not to interfere with or to frustrate the relationship between the child and the other parent or the other parent's right of access to the child.

3. The prospective advantage of the move for improving the general quality of life for the custodial parent or for the child.

4. The likelihood that the parent with whom the child will reside after the relocation will comply with parenting time orders.

5. Whether the relocation will allow a realistic opportunity for parenting time with each parent.

6. The extent to which moving or not moving will affect the emotional, physical or developmental needs of the child.

7. The motives of the parents and the validity of the reasons given for moving or opposing the move including the extent to which either parent may intend to gain a financial advantage regarding continuing child support obligations.

8. The potential effect of relocation on the child's stability.

If you find yourself in the position of needing to relocate your minor child, then you are highly encouraged to seek the assistance of a experienced family law attorney. With over 30 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Lasiter & Jackson will aggressively represent your interests in any child custody proceeding. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

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