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Out-of-State Parenting


Situations arise when one parent involved in a divorce either chooses to or finds it necessary to move out of state. The decision to move to another state has the potential to cause some serious issues when it comes to the divorce decree, especially concerning parenting time. Depending on how parenting time was set up during the divorce, significant changes may need to take place in order to keep everyone happy, most importantly the children.

There are several reasons why a parent might have to move out of state. Most commonly, it is because of his or her job. They may have received a transfer or promotion that requires them to live in another location or they might be forced to move in order to find an adequate job.

Obviously a move like this will affect the amount of time that person is able to see their children and uphold their end of the parenting time agreed to during the divorce proceedings. So what is the best way to handle this situation?

According to Arizona law, the two parents involved should first try to come up with a parenting plan on their own. If they are unable to agree to a plan, the matter can be presented before the court where a judge will make a final decision. Since this is probably not the best outcome, it is important to try and work with your ex-spouse to make the best possible parenting plan.

Here are a few things you should consider when coming up such a plan:

  • Is it good for the children? This should absolutely be the first thought for both parents involved. The hard part about considering what is good for your children is that it often involves personal sacrifice, including not seeing your children as often as you would like or having to travel frequently to see them.
  • Is your plan safe? Some out of state parenting plans involve children travelling from one home to another by airplane. Be sure that you can find direct non-stop flights to and from your child’s home to ensure their safety. Also consider the age of your children and whether travelling on their own is even an option.
  • Can you travel to your children? Child psychologists and other experts agree that it is good for parents to visit their children in their home state from time to time to show commitment and a willingness to stay involved in their lives.
  • How can you stay involved from a distance? If you are the parent that will be living out of state and away from your child, do everything you can to continue to stay involved. This might mean scheduling parent/teacher conferences over the phone and making arrangements to attend important ball games or performances.

Parenting from another state is not easy and can be expensive, but it is still very important that you do what you can to show your children that they are a priority for you.

Do your best to work out a parenting plan with your ex-spouse to the best of your ability. If you find that you simply cannot make it work, contact attorney Brad Crider at Naegle & Crider, Attorneys at Law. He’ll be happy to work with you and present options for quickly solving the problem.

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