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Can you relocate after divorce?

May 8, 2022 | Divorce, Divorce Attorney, Divorce Lawyer

Many people want a fresh start after a divorce and that may include moving to a new state but before you do, there are a few things you should consider.

In Arizona after a divorce you are issued an Arizona marital settlement agreement. This is a contract that outlines your post-marital rights and obligations. The agreement includes information about child support, alimony, property and debt. If you have children, it also dictates your parenting plan and your ex-spouse’s rights and responsibilities. Often a settlement agreement will state how far you can move without needing to alter the settlement agreement but if it does not, you may need a judge to approve your move.

If you’re considering a major relocation after a divorce here are a few things you should consider:

Custodial agreements.

The biggest issue with relocation is disruption of a parenting plan. If your move will disrupt the other parent’s ability to visit their children, it may cause big problems. If custodial agreements have caused issues in the past a judge may take into consideration the likelihood of agreements being kept after a move is made. The judge will want to take into consideration what is in the child’s best interest. They may want to hear how the child is currently doing in school and in their community and how the child has already been impacted by the divorce.

If you have been granted majority custody or physical custody of your child then the court has already decided you are the best parent to care for the child and this will weigh heavily in their decision.

If possible, it’s always best if you can have this discussion with your ex-spouse before bringing it to the judge and asking for a change to your agreement. Be sure and present why this move is important for your child and not just yourself.

Financial impacts.

Moving can be costly. Divorce can also be costly. If your move may disrupt your ability to pay agreed upon support payments, this is something you should make your attorney aware of. Again, it may be possible to work out a solution with your former spouse.

Your reasons for moving.

If the move is challenged by your ex-spouse the judge will take a closer look at your reason for moving and whether the move was planned in good faith or not. If this is purely to get back at your spouse, you should re-think the move.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to move, you should speak to an experienced attorney before you make any plans. We can walk you through the proper steps to take to keep your out of the courtroom and make your next adventure a positive one.

Pangerl Law Firm P.L.L.C. focuses on divorce, child custody, mother’s and father’s rights, child support, and all other areas of family law, as well as personal injury claims. Our office is located in Deer Valley and serves the greater Phoenix area, including the communities of Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Cave Creek, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Mesa, Tempe, Anthem, New River, North Phoenix and Phoenix. For more information, call: 602-942-6200.