Queen Creek, AZ asked in Divorce and Family Law for Arizona

Q: My daughter lives in Glendora CA She is wanting a divorce. Can she move to AZ with the kids? he works in LA she online.

4 minor children 8yr to 14. Husband has anger issues and has physically harmed the children in past. She wants to move to AZ as she can afford to care for the children better then in CA. She is willing to drive them out to visit their dad. Counseling has started and husband admits he has anger issues, but always has an excuse for it. As her parents we are planning on helping her with a starter home in Florance. Can she move here with them?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mike Branum
Mike Branum
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: You present one of those cases where there is a specific legal answer and then there is what is likely in the best interests of your daughter and grandchildren. To avoid any potential legal problems, your daughter should file for separation in California and request leave of the Court to relocate to Arizona. Alternatively (and better), your daughter could get your son-in-law to sign an agreement that she can relocate to Arizona and specify how often the children will visit their father in California. The California courts are a MESS right now due to the coronavirus. A new matter is unlikely to be heard any time soon.

Just moving to Arizona without an agreement or a court order would place your daughter at risk criminally and civilly. If she chooses to move without an order in place, she must ensure that she is giving her husband ample opportunity to spend time with the kids. If she consistently makes sure he is able to exercise parenting time, it would be difficult for him to accuse her of parental abduction.

Your daughter and the children will have to live in Arizona for at least six months before she can seek a child custody order from the court.

As I said above, the best solution would be to write up an agreement between the two that she can move and that he will get to see the children ... fill in the blank, every other weekend, one week a month, etc. If she commences an action in California, she will have to see it through in California. Another great reason to get an agreement now without going to court and wait until your daughter has AZ residency before filing anything with the court.

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