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Review of Arizona's relocation statute

Like many other states, Arizona has a law that governs what parents who are subject to child custody and parenting time orders must do if they wish to move with the children in their care.

Arizona's law applies to all moves that are either outside the state or that are more than 100 miles from the parent's current home. While local moves are exempt from the law, a parent should still review his or her child custody order to make sure it does not impose any additional obligations.

On the other hand, if the order is recent and already permits a parent to relocate, he or she may be able to bypass the requirements of Arizona's relocation statute.

Otherwise, a parent intending to move must give 45 days of notice to the other parent. The other parent will then have 30 days to file a request asking the court to prohibit the relocation. If a parent moves without following these rules, the court has authority to impose a negative legal consequence on the parent who broke the rule.

Another catch that parents in the greater Phoenix area need to remember is that even an approved relocation does not automatically change the court's custody and parenting time orders. As such, it may be a smart strategic move for the moving parent to ask for a hearing if he or she feels that some changes in the parenting plan will be needed because of the upcoming relocation.

Courts will consider a number of factors when deciding whether to approve of a move. As in most other cases involving children, the paramount concern will be the child's best interests.

A person who recognizes that he or she needs to follow Arizona's relocation statute should consider seeking out professional legal assistance.

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