When going through the process of a divorce, or even in post-Decree modification matters, it is a possibility that one parent may decide to relocate. This can be very problematic for the other parent who may be relying on close proximity to his or her former spouse in order to visit with children. Life, however, does happen. New jobs can take people to a new city; perhaps an individual wants a change of scenery or is intending to move back closer to other relatives in order to have assistance with childcare. It is important to realize that there are some situations in which relocation has already been restricted as a result of the divorce decree. Here are some tips for fighting relocation.

Before relocating, the parent considering this move should look for any travel restrictions in the child custody or divorce decree. Typically, the custodial parent needs to give the non-custodial parent written and formal notice of his or her intention to move.  This is also required by statute, A.R.S. § 25-408. The non-relocating parent can file an objection with the court based on this move. This can generate further litigation and court battles, which is why it is imperative to work with an Arizona family lawyer if you believe that the other parent is intending to relocate. He or she does have a responsibility to let you know that this is coming, but you may need to demonstrate to the court that this is not in the best interests of the children. It is also imperative that you engage with counsel sooner rather than later, as relocation matters tend to move quickly and there are responsibilities put on the non-relocating parent once they receive notice.

How the Court Looks at Relocation Requests

Ultimately, the court’s decision is determined on what is the best interest of the child or children involved in the case. If you can successfully demonstrate that relocating the children is not in their best interests (not necessarily the best interests of the relocating parent), you may be able to stop the other parent from relocating. Even though there are likely many emotions tied to your response to a potential relocation, it is in your best interest to remain calm and proceed cautiously and professionally.

Your Arizona family lawyer can handle many of the details associated with a relocation request. It is up to you to convince the court successfully that this relocation is not best for the children. Do not lash out at the other parent and instead allow the court to be the place where you strongly object to this relocation. It can be very difficult to go through a situation like this, but having an Arizona family lawyer who is knowledgeable about relocation help you can go a long way towards minimizing your stress.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Tips for Fighting Relocation, or any other family law issue,  please feel free to contact Steven H. Everts at 480.461.5300,  log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.