Your divorce is finally over — and you’re more than ready to embark on a new (improved) phase of your life. The only barrier to your plans is that your co-parenting and custody agreement has you tethered to the local area, and you really think that you and your child would be better off if you were somewhere else.
Do you have any options? Maybe. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
You need to notify your co-parent of your intentions
Primary custody doesn’t entitle you to make unilateral decisions about all your child’s circumstances or needs. If you plan to move more than 100 miles in-state or want to relocate over the state line, Arizona law requires you to give your child’s other parent 60 days’ notice.
You need to show a good faith reason for the move
In other words, the court wants to know (to a reasonable degree of certainty) that you are trying to move away to better your life — not to punish the child’s co-parent by depriving them of regular access and visitation. Expect the court to make some inquiries about the logic behind your move and your goals.
The court has to consider the consequences of the move on everybody involved
That means they will consider the circumstances that are prompting the move, how that move will affect the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights and the bond they have with your child and the effect the move will have on your child’s sense of stability or physical and mental health.
Relocation isn’t an impossible goal — but it does take a bit of finesse when it comes time to present your arguments to the court. It’s always wise to have legal guidance as you do this.