Moving a child out of state after a divorce can be a problem depending on the circumstances. When a divorce is served, a Preliminary Injunction court order is issued. One of the specifics of this order is that neither mother nor father can move children outside the state boundaries without permission. This is done to stop one parent from keeping the children away from the other.
Even before a divorce becomes final, once the Preliminary Injunction is filed, moving to another state is placed in limbo without court approval. Parties in a divorce may want to receive temporary orders from the courts before the divorce takes place. While these orders may address moving out of state, they often are for the purposes of custody, alimony, child support, debt payment, and other processes that are taking place up until the divorce is approved.
If the move is made prior to filing for a divorce, there are different views upon its legality. Each situation is reviewed independently by the courts, and even though the length of time the children have lived out of state before the divorce is a central factor, it does not solely determine the decision of the courts for children to be returned to Arizona.
If a parent is given sole custody of the children, or even designated as primary custodian, moving children out of state is allowable if the reasons are proper in the view of the courts. Health and safety issues, as well as employment changes, are considered legitimate reasons to move to another state.
Extenuating circumstances always can affect the decision for relocation of children, but the courts must be convinced that they are necessary. For information regarding your circumstances and relocating out of the state with your children, advice from a family law attorney is highly recommended.