I’m looking to move out of state with my 10 year old and 5 year old. What would be the best way to present this to a judge?

Question:

I’m looking to move out of state with my 10 year old and 5 year old. What would be the best way to present this to a judge?

I share joint custody with my ex but I have primary physical custody. He frequently cancels visits, and is three months behind on child support. I simply can not afford to live here anymore. My fiancé lives in Texas, which is where I’m looking to move. He has a good job making twice what I make. The fact is, I can give my kids a better life out there with a more promising future. Even when my ex is on time with child support payments, I’m barely getting by, financially it’s just not working here. The plan for Texas was to settle in, get married, and provide a better life for my kids and his son. What is the best way to present this to a judge? Would it be beneficial for us to get married then go before a judge to present a move? My ex has said he will try to stop a move.

Answer:

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.

So if he is entitled to ANY visitation (unsupervised parenting time) and lives in AZ, if the Decree states ANYTHING about him being allowed to visit with the child, even if the Decree doesn’t say when or how, then you must give him 60 days written notice as prescribed in ARS25-408.

Relocation cases are very hard to win, statistically, they are denied more often then they are granted.

My recommendation would be that you obtain a free consultation from an experienced family law attorney to review the Decree before contacting your ex or moving.

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;

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
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