After divorce, can I move out of state with our children?

From pursuing a new job or moving closer to extended family to finding a community with better opportunities for your children, there are many reasons you might want to relocate.

However, Arizona has strict rules for moving with shared children after divorce. If you and your ex-spouse currently share custody or you are the custodial parent, you will need to receive court approval to move to another state or more than 100 miles within the state.

What does the court consider when granting approval?

When reviewing your petition to relocate, the court will consider both the best interests of your children and the impact the move will have on their relationship with their other parent. Factors a judge may review include:

  • Whether your ex-spouse agrees to the move
  • Your motives for relocating
  • How the move may improve the quality of life for you and your children
  • The potential emotional, physical or developmental impact of relocation on your children
  • Whether your relocation realistically allows for shared parenting time
  • How likely you are to follow parenting time agreements

What if my ex-spouse objects to the move?

The court is more likely to approve relocation if your ex-spouse agrees to the decision. However, you will likely need to modify your current parenting plan and you may need to make changes to child or spousal support amounts.

If your ex-spouse does not agree to the move, you must be able to prove to the court that you planned the move in good faith, with good reason and with the best interests of your children in mind.