Need Help With An Out-Of-State Custody Agreement? 5 Things An Attorney May Recommend

Posted on: 17 July 2023

Many parents dread the thought of creating a custody agreement after one parent moves away but don't get discouraged just yet. Even though you or the other parent relocated out of state, you can still both spend quality time with your kids. A child custody attorney can help you create or modify a child custody decree so that it benefits the children. Here are five tips an experienced child custody attorney may recommend to ensure a successful out-of-state custody agreement.

1) Review both state's statutes for child custody law

When one parent leaves the state, it can be confusing. For starters, you have to figure out which state has jurisdiction over the custody case. Every state has different laws regarding custody, visitation, and communications, so you may want to quickly file for custody in your current state if you feel it will benefit your kids more. However, that's not always an option. A child custody attorney can provide guidance on this entire process so you don't have to figure things out on your own.

2) Draft a detailed parenting plan

No matter which state's child custody laws are followed, it's important to create or update your parenting plan. This document clearly outlines what is expected of each parent regarding time spent with the children, communication, medical expenses, and more. A qualified attorney can help you decide what to include in your custody decree so your children can thrive.

3) Request permission to travel out of state

Depending on which law is applied, one parent may need permission from the other before traveling with the children. Your child custody attorney can explain if this applies to you and advise what documents should be filed in order to obtain consent.

4) Consider using technology to stay connected

When a parent moves away, it can be challenging for everyone involved. But there are ways to maintain communication without being in the same room. Utilizing video chat software or other technology can help both parents stay in touch with the kids even if they aren't together physically. You can also ask a lawyer to draft a motion requesting set communication times, such as a weekly phone call.

5) Decide who has primary legal custody

Physical custody and legal custody are two separate matters. Primary legal custody lets one parent make decisions related to the child's health, education, religion, and more, which can be important when parents are separated by state borders. A lawyer can explain how a long-distance custodial agreement affects your parental rights in detail.

Creating a successful out-of-state custody agreement requires careful consideration of both state's child custody laws and the kids' best interests. Don't try to tackle this alone—contact a child custody attorney today.