Laws about Leaving the State with Minor Children after Divorce in Arizona
As a parent you have certain rights but things can become a bit more complicated after a divorce. Every state has rules and regulations when it comes to leaving its territory with minor children. If you are planning on leaving the state with minor children after divorce in Arizona, you will have to keep a few essentials in mind.
The Difference between Temporary and Permanent Out of State Trips
You need to distinguish between two scenarios because specific rules will apply to each one.
As a parent, you may have to leave the state for a little while and take the kids with you. This is called a temporary trip. Alternatively, you may be considering relocation to another state. In that situation, the trip out of state will be permanent.
If you and a former spouse have reached an agreement about such trips and the custody of the children before getting divorced, a court isn’t going to interfere with your affairs from that point forward.
In case a parent refuses to let the other take the kids on a temporary trip, the court will have to interfere. The decision-making authority of the two parties, the interest of the children and any history of family violence or domestic abuse will be under consideration.
Things may be a bit more complicated when a permanent move is about to take place. If both parties have agreed upon such arrangements, court isn’t going to interfere. Alternatively, a judge will have to determine how the move is going to affect children, why one of the parents is objecting and who has the decision-making authority.
Arizona Procedures for Taking Kids Out of State
Whenever temporary travel is concerned, the parent who wants to leave the state will need to file a petition with court for the purpose of being granted such permission. The arguments of both parties will be heard before the court provides the final ruling.
Depending on the situation, a court may have the two parents going through mediation before the issue is heard.
When a permanent move is involved, the parent who will be staying in Arizona may file a petition with court, requesting the prevention of the move. Such a petition should be filed within 30 days of receiving a moving notice from the other parent.
If the moving parent knows that their former spouse will object a move, they can also file a petition with court.
The parent who will be moving out of Arizona is burdened with proving why the move is in the best interest of the children. Usually, an argument should be made focusing entirely on the children rather than on personal gains that could potentially stem from the move.
What is Parental Kidnapping?
Parental kidnapping or custodial interference is a very serious issue. Every state has specific regulations that will determine whether the taking of minor children out of state can be considered parental kidnaping.
Arizona is one of the states that have pretty strict regulations about it. An individual may be charged with parental kidnapping even before a court rules on the decision-making authority of the two individuals getting a divorce.
In Arizona, parental kidnapping is defined as persuading a child, withholding them from the other parent or denying the other parent access to the child. This could happen by leaving the state with minor children after divorce in Arizona.
Custodial interference is defined in Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1302. The violation will be classified as a Class 4 felony whenever a minor child is taken or enticed from lawful custody out of the state by one of the parents or a custodian. Otherwise, parental kidnapping will be classified as a Class 6 felony. If the child is voluntarily returned within 48 hours, parental kidnapping will result in a Class 1 misdemeanor.