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Family Law FAQ’s

Am I Allowed to Move Out of State With My Child?

courtArizona law allows a parent to relocate only if the court decided the move is in the best interest of the child/children. Relocation may be a difficult legal case because the potential impact of the move will be examined thoroughly.

When one parent is needing to relocate because of employment, for example, the other parent may not have a desire to give up parenting time.  The court must take in all considerations and decide if that move will be best for the child.  Meanwhile, both parents are going to be fighting for their desires.  How will the proposed new location impact the child’s quality of life and the relationship with both parents?

The burden of proof is upon the parent wishing to move.  In Arizona, the moving parent must prove that the relocation is indeed in the best interest of the child, not just in the best interest of the parent. When a child has been living in Arizona for some time, they have established relationships and peer networks… so over time, the burden of proof becomes often times a difficult burden to overcome.

Sometimes there is no answer to the question of  “Should I  / Can I move my child out of state?” Often judges hear arguments over parenting time, a parenting plan, and yet their decision has huge impacts on both parents and the child. Parents may face intense court hearings and battles if a move is challenged — in some respects the legal process becomes somewhat like a second custody trial.

So, yes, a parent living in Arizona can try to relocate their children out of state.  Any parent considering a relocation case should understand and think about the child: expense travel, transitions, the missed interactions when leaving friends and school, sports, and any other sacrifices that may impact the child.

Our experienced attorneys will assist you with your relocation case. We will represent your rights as a parent and the best interests of your child.

What Does an Uncontested Divorce Mean?

If any matters in the divorce cannot be agreed upon (custody, parenting time, child support, spousal maintenance, debt, division of property…) or are disputed by either spouse and cannot be settled through negotiations, the divorce is considered uncontested.  Even if both spouses agree they want a divorce, a trial may be necessary if any other issue is uncontested, or cannot be agreed upon.

How Long Will I Have to Wait For My Divorce?

Once a spouse is served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, at least 60 days must pass before a divorce can be granted.  This is a minimum period of time; it is common for most uncontested divorces to be complete in three or four months. If a divorce is contested (parties cannot agree to terms of divorce matters), it can take much more time, depending on the Court’s calendar and how long negotiations take before deciding to go to trial.

Is There a Residency Requirement when Filing Divorce in Arizona?

At least one of the parties must have lived in Arizona for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce. If one spouse lives in Arizona and the other does not (or has not lived in Arizona), the Court can dissolve the marriage for the person who lives in Arizona, but it will be limited to what property can be divided and what orders can be entered against the spouse who is a non-resident.  Not both parties necessarily have to live in Arizona.

How Do I Know if it is Domestic Violence?

If you have been physically abused by your spouse, you can get an Order of Protection before or after you file for divorce.  You do not need to file for divorce in order to obtain the Order of Protection. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence, you should seek council with an experienced Arizona Family Law Attorney in order to protect your rights and understand your options.  Our attorneys are not only expert in Arizona Family Law, but also understanding in matters such as Domestic Violence, and have successfully helped clients with these types of family issues.