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When Child Relocation Factors Do Not Apply in Arizona | Voted “Best of the Valley”

Posted on : December 22, 2015, By:  Christopher Hildebrand
Arizona Child Relocation Law

When Child Relocation Factors Do Not Apply in Arizona

When Child Relocation Factors Do Not Apply in Arizona.

When Child Relocation Factors Do Not Apply in Arizona.

There are times when child relocation statute does not apply in Arizona. In Arizona, when there is a court order establishing custody and/or parenting for both parents, and both parents reside in the state, either party is required to provide written notice of at least sixty days in advance to the other parent before relocating the child outside of the state or relocating the child more than one hundred miles within the state of Arizona. In considering the following case, the Arizona court of appeals found it necessary to determine the applicability of statutory relocation provisions. C.P. was born in Arizona in 2004. Both her mother and father resided in the state. They were not married. C.P spent some time residing with both parents as well as time spent residing with each parent individually. In Fall 2006 C.P. was living with her father. Her mother informed the father that she was moving to Maryland due to her marriage to John Noftsinger and that she wanted to take C.P to Maryland. Father did not agree, and mother moved to Maryland without C.P. There were no written agreements in place regarding child custody or parenting time at this time.

In December 2006, the father filed a paternity action seeking sole custody. The mother was served in Maryland in February 2007. She failed to file a response promptly, so the father applied for default. Later, the mother failed to appear at the Resolution Management Conference, the default was noted by the family court, and a temporary order was issued granting sole custody to the father. No mention of parenting time was included in regards to the mother. Not long after, the mother filed a cross-petition for sole custody of C.P.

A trial occurred for the case on January 2008 at which time the family court entered an order providing joint custody and equal parenting time. After the order was entered, the father attempted to file a motion for a new trial which was unsuccessful. He now appeals both the order entered by the family court and the denial of his motion for a new trial. The Arizona Court of Appeals court had jurisdiction to hear the appeal in this matter.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.

Applicability of the Relocation Provisions

When denying the motion for a new trial, the family court judge specified that the factors as outlined in A.R.S. §§ 25-403(A) and 403.01(B) were considered, but that the relocation factors outlined in A.R.S. § 25-408(I) were not specifically addressed. The father argues that this was a wrong way of handling of the issue as this is a “relocation” case. The mother wants to relocate with the child to Maryland, and the father wants to continue residing with the child in Arizona. In a review of the relocation provisions, it is important to pinpoint the intent of the legislature as well as any qualifying factors.  In this instance, two prerequisites are established in regards to the statute regarding relocation of or with the child; specifically, a written agreement or court order that provides custody or parenting time for both parents and both parents being residents of Arizona.

In the case of Buencamino v Noftsinger, neither prerequisite existed at the time of the court ruling. There was not a written agreement or custody order outlining custody and parenting time for both parents. The temporary order obtained by the father included no mention of the mother. Also, at the time of the action, the mother was already residing in Maryland, so both parents are not residents of the state of Arizona.

Due to these facts, and according to the plain language of the law, the statutory prerequisites for the application of the relocation provisions in the statute did not exist in this case. Therefore, the family court was not required to consider the relocation requirements or make any particular findings following the factors as prescribed by that specific statute. The family court’s custody order was affirmed for the reasons stated above.

Call us (480)305-8300 to schedule your personalized consultation with one of our experienced Phoenix and Scottsdale Arizona child relocation attorneys.

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I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
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After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
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I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
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Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
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