Child Custody When Parents Live in Different States

Child Custody When Parents Live in Different States


You are required to adhere to state custody regulations and laws when making your parenting plan. When the parents are living in different states, one of those states is going to have authority over the custody arrangements.

When you both come to an agreement on which specific state you’re going to file your parenting plan in, you are required to adhere to the regulations of that state when making your plan and custody timetable.

When you both have not come to an agreement on which specific state has authority over your custody arrangements, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act establishes which state has authority.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act states that a state court could determine custody arrangements only when at the minimum one of the following is genuine:

  • The child has resided in the state at a minimum of six months, or the child had resided in the state until a parent not long ago moved them.
  • The child has considerable connections with individuals in the state, such as family members, friends, and educators.
  • The child is in the state for reasons of concern of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment when in a different state.
  • No state can satisfy any of the requirements above.

Only one state is able to issue custody judgments. When more than one state satisfies the above requirements, the state that makes the first custody decision is going to have authority. Other states are going to impose that decision.

You are unable move your child to a different state in order to give that state authority over your case. When this happens, you will be refused custody.

Legal and Physical Custody

States acknowledge two kinds of custody of a child: legal custody and physical custody. Joint custody typically is in reference to each parent splitting physical and legal custody of their child. When parents are living in separate states, it is feasible for each of the parents to share physical and legal custody of their child, or some other compromise.

Legal custody awards a parent the right to make significant decisions in regard to the child’s welfare, like medical matters and educational matters. Parents can reside in separate states and share legal custody when the parents have an amicable relationship and can talk with each other, even though it can be challenging for the parent that doesn’t reside in the same state as the child to take part in medical consultations, for instance.

Physical custody denotes the child has a home with each of the parents. Once more, this is feasible if the parents reside in two differing states since it does not always mean a 50-50 split among each of the parent’s home. In reality, a lot of children spend around 1/3rd of their time with one parent and 2/3rds of their time with their other parent. When parents reside far apart, a general arrangement is for the child to stay in one state for the school-year and reside with the other parent throughout the summer.

Devising Inter-State Parenting Plans and Visitation Schedule

Once you’ve established in which state has authority over your custody arrangements, you can devise your parenting plan and visitation timetable.

If you and the other parent reside in separate states but are still somewhat close, you simply need a conventional parenting plan, and you have a lot of choices for your visitation timetable.

If your child is required travel long distances between parents (maybe by plane), you need a long-distance parenting plan. It needs to comprise of information about how the child is going travel, the way the parents are going to pay for travel, conditions for visiting the child at home, etc.

In long–distance visitation schedules, the child resides with one parent and visits the other parent. The amount of visitation is subject to the family’s circumstance and the child’s needs.

Relocating Following a Parenting Plan Being in Place

If a family has a parenting plan, but one of the parents moves far away or to a different state, the parents are required to create a long-distance plan.

When you’re the custodial parent and you’re relocating, you are required to check the conditions of your present plan to see where you’re permitted to move the child. When the non-custodial parent doesn’t want you to move, you might have to go to court to figure it out.

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorney in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.

Jennifer Moshier Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Scottsdale Arizona
Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer


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