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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11888
Experience:  JD, MBA
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I have a divorce decree that states if either of the parents

Customer Question

i have a divorce decree that states if either of the parents need a babysitter that they would use the other parent first and if the other parent is not available then get a babysitter my daughter is now 13 and i want to know does this still stand or can we not do this we live in arizona and at some age the child should be able to stay by themselves without a sitter
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: arizona
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: the original divorce decree in 2005 that staes what i told you
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no thats the only question
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I also want to know when can I move her out of state as I have sole physical custody and he has visitation rights every other weekend and certain holidays and 1 week during the summer. I also make all decisions regarding health and education. I was also told when she gets a certain age she is able to make the decision if she wants to visit or not because she continues to not want to go and at 13 in other states the child can decide to go or not.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Q: if either of the parents need a babysitter that they would use the other parent first and if the other parent is not available then get a babysitter my daughter is now 13 and i want to know does this still stand or can we not do this

A: Unsurprisingly, there is no law on this subject. Judges expect parents to use common sense when figuring out these types of issues. In my opinion, 13 years old is old enough to leave at home for a few hours without a babysitter. My guess is that if one of the parents did that, and the other took that parent to court and argued contempt for failing to get that parent to watch the child, then the judge would probably be irritated for wasting the court's time. Of course, the facts in any situation is important. If the parent intended to leave the child alone for a full day, then that may be different. Again, it's a matter of common sense.

Q: I also want to know when can I move her out of state

A: While she's still a minor (i.e., under 18), you can only move her out of state if (1) the father agrees, or (2) the court agrees. The court will only agree if you can convince the court that it's in your child's best interests. Generally, that is a fairly high burden, but it also depends on all the facts. For example, if you live near the state border, and you want to move to the other side of the border in another state, and you'll still be close by, then a judge may be more likely to entertain the request. But if you plan to move 2000 miles away, then the move would obviously have a negative impact on the child's relationship with her father, and therefore, a court would be less likely to grant the request. So the specific facts in your case are important. But in any event, you must convince a judge that the move would be in the child's best interest.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello thank you, ***** ***** the child being left alone we just want to be able to choose a baby sitter if need be without asking the other parent first because we cant get along, so I guess the question are we able to bypass asking the other parent first to babysit the child and just choose a babysitter or is this something that has to go back to court?.I also wanted to move because I am getting remarried and by husband work is on the east cost in new york or new jersey so we have to travel back and forth and will eventually move this is the reason for the move.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hi again.

Q: so I guess the question are we able to bypass asking the other parent first to babysit the child and just choose a babysitter or is this something that has to go back to court?

A: You'd have to go back to court to get the custody order modified if you want to get a babysitter and not ask the father. Otherwise, you'd be in clear violation of the court's order.

Q: I also wanted to move because I am getting remarried and by husband work is on the east cost in new york or new jersey so we have to travel back and forth and will eventually move this is the reason for the move.

A: I'm sorry to say the court will not likely allow you to move your child for that purpose, since that purpose is for your benefit and your new spouse's benefit, but not for your child's benefit. Bear in mind that the move would damage the child's relationship with her father since he'd rarely be able to see her. In that situation, I've seen court's tell the parent who wants to move to either (1) stay in the state, or (2) give up custody to the other parent. So, you'd likely need to have a better reason for moving than simply that you want to be remarried to somebody far away.

I am truly sorry for the bad news, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know and I will be happy to clarify my answer.

Also, despite the bad news, I would certainly appreciate it if you remember to provide a positive rating via the stars, as it is the only way that I'll get credit for answering your question(s). Thank you. :)

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok the other question I asked was in other states when the child gets 13 they can decide if and when they want to visit the other parent as my friend;s son at 13 is deciding not to visit his mom in north Carolina and legally because of his age of 13 he can do so, how does that work in Arizona?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hi again.

I'm sorry to say that you were given misinformation by your friend. The law in North Carolina is basically the same in Arizona. A judge makes visitation decisions based upon what is in the best interests of the child. A judge has discretion to take the child's preference into consideration, but the judge also has the discretion to completely ignore the child's preferences. As children get older, judges usually put more weight on the child's preference (though the judge doesn't have to). There is no magic age in either state, and a judge could theoretically force visitation even at the age of 17 years old.

If you want to get visitation changed, then you can certainly ask the court to modify the order, and you can argue that your child doesn't want visitation with her father. A 13 year old's preference will certainly be weighted more than an 8 year old's preference. But then again, a 13 year old's preference will not be weighted as heavily as a 17 year old's preference.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 1 month ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

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