I was wondering if I can leave the country with my son for military purposes without the permission of his dad, even though he has visitation rights?

Question:

I was wondering if I can leave the country with my son for military purposes without the permission of his dad, even though he has visitation rights?

My son’s dad has visitations every other weekend. I need to leave the country for military purposes. My son’s dad served me with papers saying he wants to try and get full custody, because I want to take him with me to Germany, is that even possible?

Answer:

IT IS NOT ONLY POSSIBLE, IT IS PROBABLE. ARS25-408 reads in part:

A. If by written agreement OR COURT ORDER both parents are entitled to joint legal decision-making or unsupervised 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.

I have attached a link below to the statute so that you can see it in its entirety

The language in the statute has recently changed.
1. “joint legal decision-making” means joint custody;
2. “unsupervised parenting time” means visitation that does not specifically require supervision;

So if he is entitled to ANY visitation (unsupervised parenting time) and lives in AZ, then you must give him 60 days written notice as prescribed in ARS25-408. He may then request a hearing barring you from removing the child, or asking that the child shall live with him.

The burden is on you to convince the court that it will be in the child’s best interest to relocate. The fact that dad is a regular part of his life makes this a very hard case to win.

My recommendation would be that you obtain a free consultation from an experienced family law attorney to review the Decree immediately.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC
623.218.1000
480.636.1333

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