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#216223 - 04/12/07 05:16 PM Moving out of state with my daughter
alysonheather Offline
recently joined

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 4
Does anybody know how I should handle this situation...my divorce has been finalized for over 2 years. We have joint custody of 9 year old daughter; although, I tend to have her the majority of the time. I've been extremely flexible and accomodating in order to bypass childcare, etc. Ex-wife met someone only about a month ago, and informed me yesterday that "he is the one" & she & my daughter are moving out of state as soon as school is out. I know the decree mentions traveling out of state, but not sure what laws are in regards to moving. This is definitely not in my daughter's best interest...moving out of state, away from me, to a new school and home, new "father figure", not to mention having to share her life with another child. Should I seek legal advice/counseling, or should I just wait to see how she proceeds? (FYI; her knowledge of english language, legal system, procedures, etc. is not very good as she is from the Middle East)

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#216224 - 04/12/07 06:18 PM Re: Moving out of state with my daughter [Re: alysonheather]
googledad Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 12/31/05
Posts: 10213
25-408. Rights of noncustodial parent; parenting time; relocation of child; exception; enforcement; access to records

A. A parent who is not granted custody of the child is entitled to reasonable parenting time rights to ensure that the minor child has frequent and continuing contact with the noncustodial parent unless the court finds, after a hearing, that parenting time would endanger seriously the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

B. If by written agreement or court order both parents are entitled to custody or parenting time and both parents reside in the state, at least sixty days' advance written notice shall be provided to the other parent before a parent may do either of the following:

1. Relocate the child outside the state.

2. Relocate the child more than one hundred miles within the state.

C. The notice required by this section shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, or pursuant to the Arizona rules of civil procedure. A parent who does not comply with the notification requirements of this subsection is subject to court sanction. The court may impose a sanction that will affect custody or parenting time only in accordance with the child's best interests.

D. Within thirty days after notice is made the nonmoving parent may petition the court to prevent relocation of the child. After expiration of this time any petition or other application to prevent relocation of the child may be granted only on a showing of good cause. This subsection does not prohibit a parent who is seeking to relocate the child from petitioning the court for a hearing, on notice to the other parent, to determine the appropriateness of a relocation that may adversely affect the other parent's custody or parenting time rights.

E. Subsection B of this section does not apply if provision for relocation of a child has been made by a court order or a written agreement of the parties that is dated within one year of the proposed relocation of the child.

F. Pending the determination by the court of a petition or application to prevent relocation of the child:

1. A parent with sole custody or a parent with joint custody and primary physical custody who is required by circumstances of health or safety or employment of that parent or that parent's spouse to relocate in less than sixty days after written notice has been given to the other parent may temporarily relocate with the child.

2. A parent who shares joint custody and substantially equal physical custody and who is required by circumstances of health or safety or employment of that parent or that parent's spouse to relocate in less than sixty days after written notice has been given to the other parent may temporarily relocate with the child only if both parents execute a written agreement to permit relocation of the child.

G. The court shall determine whether to allow the parent to relocate the child in accordance with the child's best interests. The burden of proving what is in the child's best interests is on the parent who is seeking to relocate the child. To the extent practicable the court shall also make appropriate arrangements to ensure the continuation of a meaningful relationship between the child and both parents.

H. The court shall not deviate from a provision of any parenting plan or other written agreement by which the parents specifically have agreed to allow or prohibit relocation of the child unless the court finds that the provision is no longer in the child's best interests. There is a rebuttable presumption that a provision from any parenting plan or other written agreement is in the child's best interests.

I. In determining the child's best interests the court shall consider all relevant factors including:

1. The factors prescribed under section 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.

J. The court shall assess attorney fees and court costs against either parent if the court finds that the parent has unreasonably denied, restricted or interfered with court-ordered parenting time.

K. Pursuant to section 25-403.06, the noncustodial parent is entitled to have access to documents and other information about the child unless the court finds that access would endanger seriously the child's or the custodial parent's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.
_________________________
Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

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#216225 - 04/13/07 07:44 PM Re: Moving out of state with my daughter [Re: googledad]
alysonheather Offline
recently joined

Registered: 04/12/07
Posts: 4
Thanks. I'd found bits & pieces of this info, but never the entire article. It appears as though I should just be prepared to petition for prevention of relocation if & when I receive notification of my ex's intent to move...which, I assume will be fairly soon now that I did not go along with her plan as she thought I would. (Believe it or not, she was actually expecting that I would sell my home, give up 14 years worth of clients & customers, and follow her & my daughter out of state where I would start my life over at 48 years old!)

Do you (or anybody else) have first hand experience in custody cases such as these, and/or a knowledgeable opinion as to what I can expect from a judge?

If done by the book, it doesn't appear as though a judge could possibly allow my ex-wife to relocate my daughter out of state. We share custody; not to mention, I pick my daughter up from school most days and have her with me until at least 5:00 or 6:00 PM, if not overnight. We have a very good relationship, and until this situation came up, her mother & I had a good relationship as well. My daughter is in elementary school in a good school district, she is in her pre-teen years and is doing well in school. She is also active in extra-curricular activities (dance, sports, etc.)

Her mother is trying to convince my daughter (and me) that this would be a great move, she'd have a sister (step, whom she's never met), they'd be closer to family (ex's sister, bro-in-law & child versus my mother, brother & sister here locally), etc. Without even considering the fact that she has known the man she is moving for just over one month,in my opinion, none of the "benefits" of moving outweigh the disadvantages of not seeing her father (me!), pulling her out of school & away from friends, and the transition of going from an "only child" to having to compete with a new sibling and her mother's new partner/spouse for the attention & time she is accustomed to receiving.

Hopefully, a judge will see things the same....does anybody know? Thanks.

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