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ARS 25-408 states that if both parents are entitled to reasonable parenting time and both parents reside in the state, at least 60 days' advance written notice must 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

The notice required by this section shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested. A parent who does not comply with the notification requirements of this subsection is subject to court sanction. The court may impose a sanction that will affect custody or parenting time.

The non-moving parent has 30 days after notice is made to petition the court to prevent relocation of the child. After expiration of this time, any petition or other application to prevent relocation of the child may be granted only on a showing of good cause.

In determining the child's best interests the court shall consider all relevant factors including:

  1. The factors prescribed under Section 25-403
  2. If 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

ARS 25-403 states that a court shall determine custody, either originally or on petition for modification, in accordance with the best interests of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including:

  1. The wishes of the child's parent or parents as to custody
  2. The wishes of the child as to the custodian
  3. Interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parent or parents, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest
  4. The child's adjustment to home, school and community
  5. The mental and physical health of all individuals involved
  6. Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and meaningful continuing contact with the other parent
  7. Whether one parent, both parents or neither parent has provided primary care of the child
  8. The nature and extent of coercion or duress used by a parent in obtaining an agreement regarding custody
  9. If a parent has complied with Chapter 3, Article 5 of this title
  10. Whether either parent was convicted of an act of false reporting of child abuse or neglect under Section 13-2907.02

Requests to relocate with a child can be difficult to win. The court shall determine whether to allow the parent to relocate the child in accordance with the child's best interests. The burden of proving what is in the child's best interests is on the parent who is seeking to relocate the child. Frequently, the court will choose to transfer physical custody to the non-moving parent and award parenting time to the moving parent.

Last Updated: 01/23/2015