A. If by written agreement or court order both parents are entitled to joint legal decision-making or parenting time and both parents reside in the state, at least forty-five days’ advance written notice shall be provided to the other parent before a parent may do either of the following:
B. The notice required by this section shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, or pursuant to the Arizona rules of family law procedure. The court shall sanction a parent who, without good cause, does not comply with the notification requirements of this subsection. The court may impose a sanction that will affect legal decision-making or parenting time only in accordance with the child’s best interests.
C. Within thirty days after notice is made the nonmoving parent may 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. This subsection does not prohibit a parent who is seeking to relocate the child from petitioning the court for a hearing, on notice to the other parent, to determine the appropriateness of a relocation that may adversely affect the other parent’s legal decision-making or parenting time rights.
D. Subsection A of this section does not apply if provision for relocation of a child has been made by a court order or a written agreement of the parties that is dated within one year of the proposed relocation of the child.
E. If a child is relocated pursuant to this section, unless otherwise ordered by the court, all parties must continue to comply with current court orders, regardless of distance moved or notice required.
F. Pending the determination by the court of a petition or application to prevent relocation of the child:
G. 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. To the extent practicable the court shall also make appropriate arrangements to ensure the continuation of a meaningful relationship between the child and both parents.
H. The court shall not deviate from a provision of any parenting plan or other written agreement by which the parents specifically have agreed to allow or prohibit relocation of the child unless the court finds that the provision is no longer in the child’s best interests. There is a rebuttable presumption that a provision from any parenting plan or other written agreement is in the child’s best interests.
I. In determining the child’s best interests the court shall consider all relevant factors including:
J. The court shall assess attorney fees and court costs against either parent if the court finds that the parent has unreasonably denied, restricted or interfered with court-ordered parenting time.
K. Pursuant to section 25-403.06, each parent is entitled to have access to prescription medication, documents and other information about the child unless the court finds that access would endanger seriously the child’s or a parent’s physical, mental, moral or emotional health.
For more information on Family Law in Arizona click to review the following Articles and Resources:
Resource: Arizona State Legislature