Phoenix, AZ asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Arizona

Q: My ex moved 3hours away and his lawyer says I need to do half the drive for the kids. Is that accurate if he moved?

He went from seeing them every weekend to every other weekend and gave me short notice he was moving. His lawyer sent me documents stating I need to reduce child support or drive half way. He willingly left, are those my options? Is it possible to get sole legal decision making if he only sees them 4 days a month? we have joint but that was when he was here and had them every weekend.

1 Lawyer Answer
Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: You raise three different issues question, so let me address them separately:

EXCHANGES: You do not necessarily have to agree to drive halfway for each exchange, but I think there's a good chance that a judge would order you to do so if it is left up to a judge. I certainly recognized that's not fair to you, but in almost every Parenting Plan at this distance, I have seen the Court order the parties to split the driving responsibility.

CHILD SUPPORT: His move affects child support. Less time with the children generally means MORE child support he has to pay. However, it's possible child support may be lower because incomes have changed since the last order. I'd recommend meeting with an attorney and having them run a child support worksheet for you. It's quite possible he should be paying more.

LEGAL DECISION-MAKING. It is unlikely that you would get sole legal decision-making simply because he moved. The two of you can still communicate about the legal decisions. Joint legal decision-making is commonly ordered even when parents live thousands of miles apart, so his move, by itself, is unlikely affect those orders.

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