New child custody bill fails to pass Arizona House

Child custody issues are often fodder for disputes between divorced parents with children. When parents split up and move away from each other sometimes the distance between their separate residences cause problems with visitation and parental involvement in school activities. A new bill in the Arizona legislature, Senate Bill 1038, seeks to address those problems.

For many years in Arizona a "bright line" rule of 100 miles has existed as the limit in which a custodial parent could relocate away from the non-custodial parent without a court order. Recently, Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix introduced SB 1038 which would have required the custodial parent to give a non-custodial parent 45 days prior notice of any planned move, and in some cases would require the approval of the court first.

SB 1038 had already successfully made it through the State Senate, but stalled recently after it was voted down by a 38-22 vote. It will go through another round of votes as part of a procedural process, where the merits of the bill will be argued at length.

Supporters of the bill say that Sen. Barto has spent four years bringing all of the stakeholders of the bill together in agreement of the bill's intent. Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Peoria says that Barto included the courts and domestic violence experts in the drafting of the legislation. Opponents of the bill disagree. They say that a non-custodial parent who cares more about exerting control rather than the interests of the children could use the proposed law to prevent the custodial parent from getting a new job or moving into a better home just out of spite.

If you are a divorced parent and have an ex-spouse who is unreasonable with regard to the terms of your child custody agreement you should take steps now to get representation to improve your situation. The laws regarding child custody are changing fast. You should act quickly to preserve your parental rights.

Source: KTAR The Voice of Arizona, "Arizona House rejects move notice to noncustodial parents" No author given, Apr. 15, 2014

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