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Arizona Senate panel OKs child custody law changes

Parents with custody of their children who want to move across town would have to notify the other parent beforehand to give them a chance to object in court under a bill approved by an Arizona Senate committee Monday.

Current state law requires notice of a move of more than 100 miles or out of state. But the bill sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, removes the distance requirement and also requires parents to give a reason and file a copy with the court. If the noncustodial parent objects, it is the custodial parent who must then seek a court order for the move.

Barto said the purpose of the bill is to give non-custodial parents more say in their child’s upbringing.

Rep. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said there needs to be some changes to the move notice bill to allow someone to move some distance without triggering the notification requirement. Yarbrough, a family law lawyer, said he was responsible for crafting the current law. He joined three Democrats in a 5-4 vote against the bill, which now goes to the full Senate after a routine review.

Barto said she was working on a major amendment to address some of the issues raised at Monday’s hearing.

A second Barto-sponsored bill approved by the Judiciary Committee Monday is designed to force judges to hold initial child custody hearings faster, generally within 60 days.

That bill drew a 9-0 vote and little opposition. Right now, cases can take months for an initial hearing, denying the non-custodial parent of their right to participate in their child’s upbringing.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

One comment

  1. The “permission to move across town” provision is another one of Nancy Barto’s continual introduction of legislation in search of a problem coupled with her penchant of being clueless about the negative consequences of her ill-thought out proposals.

    There are legal costs to parents every time a court is involved. And most parents won’t even be aware of the law when they do move — or it will prevent a parent who needs to move from doing so. If a parent does not file with the court, does s/he then become a law breaker and subject to arrest? And what if the custodial parent is moving away because the non-custodial parent is threatening, harrassing, addicted to substances, or engaging in child abuse?

    Time for head kook Nancy Barto to buy and use a tinfoil hat because her mind is obviously controlled from outer space.

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