Moves by custodial parents could be limited under proposed law; mile limit too broad, says Kaine Fisher, Chairman of Rose Law Group Family Law Department

relocation-after-divorce-3By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services/Arizona Daily Star

Divorced parents who want to move may soon find new legal hurdles in their path.

Legislation awaiting action by the state Senate would scrap existing laws that essentially allow a parent who has custody of a child to move up to 100 miles virtually at will. Instead, virtually any move could trigger a court hearing.

SB 1038 also would scrap a provision in the existing 20-year-old law that permits a court to take into account whether a move would be in a parent’s best interest. Instead, a judge would be limited to what’s best for the child.

Ellen Katz, a public interest lawyer, acknowledged the 100-mile limit favors the parent who wants to move without interference from a former spouse. But she said allowing a noncustodial parent to challenge almost any move at all creates its own problems and gives an unfair advantage.

 Statement by Kaine Fisher,  chairman of Rose Law Group Family Law Department: “This is a really hot topic right now. Something obviously needed to be changed. The 100-mile distance is way too broad, and there are several other loopholes in the current version that can be exploited. Will the revamped statute be perfect– probably not. But the changes seem to address some of the major deficiencies in the statute. Rather than using some arbitrary consideration (100 miles, etc.), the proposed new statute seems to focus on what is most important – whether any move would have a significant impact on the non-moving parent’s parenting time.


If you’d like to discuss family law, contact with Kaine Fisher, chairman of Rose Law Group Family Law Department,

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February 2014