What are my chances of keeping my son during the school year if I move?

Question:

What are my chances of keeping my son during the school year if I move?

I live in the Phoenix area and want to move. I have joint custody with my four year old son and have equal visitation. the court papers say he resides with me. I am the primary care taker and have the final say with his religion, education, and medical. I want to move and have him with me during the school year, as I can provide a better education than my ex can. What are my challenges?

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.

I have attached a link below to the statute so that you can see it in its entirety. Rather or not the 60 days Written Notice requirement applies would depend on exactly how your Decree is worded.

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 netitled 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.

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.

If he contests the move, you need to know up front that your chances of winning are not good and the attempt may very well cause him to be awarded the physical custody.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC
623.218.1000
480.636.1333

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