father chases daughter on moving day - parental relocation in ArizonaUnderstanding Parental Relocation

When considering a relocation that includes the move of your child, you’re likely to face a series of complex decisions and legal requirements, possibly more complex than you have considered, and if so, please read on. Parental relocation not only affects your living situation but also has significant implications for your co-parenting dynamics, your child’s welfare, and your parenting court orders. At McMurdie Law & Mediation, we understand the emotional , logistical and legal challenges you may encounter and we are committed to helping you navigate this sensitive process with care and legal expertise.

Parental relocation occurs when a custodial parent wishes to move a considerable distance with their child, generally more than 50 to 100 miles within Arizona or to another state and affects existing court orders and parenting plans that are being followed. Such a move can significantly impact the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent, and all of their other bonded relationships such as local extended family, grand parents, aunts and uncles and cousins, school academic and activity programs, church affiliation, and local friends from neighborhoods and schools. Arizona law provides a structured legal framework to address these situations, focusing on the child’s best interests and maintaining fair parental responsibilities.

Legal Steps for Parental Relocation

The first step in the legal process of relocating with your child involves notifying the non-custodial parent. You are required to give at least 45 days’ notice before your planned move. This notice must be sent via certified mail, ensuring the non-custodial parent has adequate time to respond.

If the non-custodial parent objects to the relocation, they have 30 days to file a petition in court. This action triggers a legal process where a court will determine whether the relocation serves the child’s best interests. During this time, it’s crucial to have professional legal support to present a strong case.

boy plays in box on moving day - parental relocation AZKey Factors Considered by Courts

Arizona courts prioritize the child’s well-being and consider various factors:

  • Reasons for Relocation: The court evaluates the necessity and benefits of your relocation, such as better employment opportunities, improved standard of living conditions, or closer proximity to family members who provide support.
  • Impact on the Child: The emotional, physical, aneviewd educational impacts on the child are scrutinized by all involved including the other parent, teachers, extended family and the court. How will the move affect your child(ren)’s current lifestyle, community and family ties, and educational and developmental opportunities?
  • Maintaining Relationships: The feasibility of the child maintaining a meaningful relationship with the non-relocating parent is a pivotal first question before all important other questions and there are many. It’s a review of the potential visitation schedules and communication plans to ensure ongoing parental bonds are maintained and supported.

How McMurdie Law & Mediation Can Assist You

mother and daughter on an airplane - parental relocationWhether you are planning to relocate or are facing the potential relocation of your child with an ex-spouse, McMurdie Law & Mediation offers expert guidance and representation.
Here’s how we can help:

  • Strategic Planning: We help you prepare by gathering necessary documentation, and evidence to show best interest of your child(ren), formulating compelling reasons for or against the move, and developing a robust parenting plan that considers the new circumstances such that mediation may be possible.
  • Legal Representation: Our experienced attorneys represent your interests in court, ensuring that your side of the story is heard and that the proposed relocation is presented as beneficial for child(ren) and you.
  • Mediation Services: If you and your ex-spouse are open to negotiation, utilizing mediation can be a valuable tool and has helped thousands of families who are experiencing relocations to new states or counties so far away that a new parenting plan is required. We facilitate discussions to reach an amicable agreement that suits all parties, particularly focusing relocations along with the most important question regarding the best interests of the child(ren).

Parental relocation is more than just a legal challenge; it’s a significant transition for your entire family. With McMurdie Law & Mediation, you’ll find the support and expertise needed to approach this situation thoughtfully and effectively, ensuring that your rights are protected and your child’s welfare is prioritized.