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Legal Information: Arizona

Parental Kidnapping

December 12, 2023

If a legal decision-making and parenting time order is in place, can I take my kids away from the other parent?

It depends. Generally, whether or not you can take your child out of the state for a period of time may depend on what your custody order says. The custody order may allow you to take your child out of the state, prohibit you from taking your child out of the state, or it may not address this issue at all. The judge may require that you post a bond or other security conditioned upon the return of the child to the state.

If you have a court order that gives both parents joint legal custody, and you take, entice or withhold the child from the physical custody of the other parent, it can be possible that you may be charged with the crime of custodial interference.1 The law is complicated and the risks are high – it is strongly recommended that you get the advice of a lawyer before leaving with your child if at all possible. Go to our AZ Finding a Lawyer page for legal referrals.

1 A.R.S. § 13-1302(A)(3)