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Navigating long-distance child custody arrangements

On Behalf of | Jan 13, 2023 | Child Custody, Divorce

Going through a divorce is a challenging time for the entire family. Making decisions about child custody is especially difficult because, in most cases, both parents want to spend time with their child, and a divorce can get in the way of that. This is especially true if one parent has to move to another state or country.

Sometimes a parent is forced to move due to a job or family situation, which can complicate child custody agreements. The courts and most parents typically seek the child’s best interest, including stability and consistency. It isn’t easy to provide that if the child is moving back and forth from one state or country to another.

In these instances, if the parents do not themselves agree to child custody, it is improbable that the court will allow a school-age child to travel out of state or out of the country regularly during the school year, as that could jeopardize the child’s stability and education. When parents move out of state or country, common child custody arrangements involve the child traveling on holidays and vacation time to see the parent who lives farther away.

Moving long-distance with the child

If the parent who is moving away from where the location that has jurisdiction over the case wants to take the child with them, they will have the burden of proving that the move is in the best interest of the child. A long-distance move can be traumatic for a child, so the parent arguing for this will have to have good reasons for doing it.

Financial matters to consider

Another consideration that divorcing parents must take into account when one parent is moving to another state or country is who will finance the cost of travel of the child, including rides to the airport, airfare and potentially other costs associated with travel. These costs can add up quickly.

If the parents or the court decides that the child will remain in the home state and the out-of-state parent will have visitation rights during holidays or vacations, the parents will have to determine who will be responsible for travel costs. In many cases, one or both parents share these costs, depending on the family’s financial situation.

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