How to relocate children in Arizona?

A.R.S. Section 25-408

Arizona relocation law gives judges authority to weigh the ARS 25-408 factors to determine the best interest the children in relocation. I know, you’re probably thinking, judges have a lot of authority to affect lives.

Here, it is important to note that some cases have temporary orders, while others do not. Relocation is different when there’s a parenting plan agreement because A.R.S. 25-408(H) puts the burden on the parent trying to change the parenting plan order. 

Sometimes parents bring children into Arizona and want to relocate them back to the jurisdiction they are from. Sometimes parents take children to another jurisdiction and Arizona law governs whether the children stay in that jurisdiction or relocate back to Arizona. Other relocation issues involve interstate relocation.

The first question is where the children have been and where the parent is trying to relocate the children.

Arizona is the jurisdiction when the children have been here for six months. If the children have been in another state for the last six months, that state might have authority over the children.

Once we determine that Arizona is the jurisdiction, we discuss the factors for relocation within or outside of Arizona.

Arizona law considers the child’s best interests, and all relevant factors, including:

1. The factors prescribed under A.R.S. section 25-403. These are the general best interest factors, but we must consider them from the perspective of relocation.

2. Whether the relocation is being made or opposed in good faith and not to interfere with or to frustrate the relationship between the child and the other parent or the other parent’s right of access to the child.

3. The prospective advantage of the move for improving the general quality of life for the custodial parent or for the child.

4. The likelihood that the parent with whom the child will reside after the relocation will comply with parenting time orders.

5. Whether the relocation will allow a realistic opportunity for parenting time with each parent.

6. The extent to which moving or not moving will affect the emotional, physical or developmental needs of the child.

7. The motives of the parents and the validity of the reasons given for moving or opposing the move including the extent to which either parent may intend to gain a financial advantage regarding continuing child support obligations.

8. The potential effect of relocation on the child’s stability.

We must argue each of the above factor to win the case. Lawyers must prepare the client for testimony with each of these, and provide evidence on each factor, effectively helping the judge weigh in our favor.

At Heins Law, P.C., we prepare our clients for testimony, making the argument for every factor, ultimately weighing in favor of the client’s position on the relocation issue. This area of law can be difficult, but we give our clients the best chance to persuade the judge, who ultimately decides. We can argue relocation or prevent relocation, whichever position our client’s believe is in the best interest of the children.

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