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How Do Out-of-State Custody Agreements Work?

February 10, 2014 by Wall Legal Solutions Divorce

Let’s face it folks, 50% of all marriages end in divorce. A good portion of those marriages produced children that now need to have equal time with each parent. Regardless of the reason why the parents are no longer together, excluding behavior that might put the child at risk, each parent has the right to spend time with their child. When most parents get divorced they are looking to end a marriage, not the parental rights. In some cases, situations may arise in one of the parents’ life that requires them to move out of state. Given that there are typically custody arrangements in a divorce, an out of state custody agreement must be produced.

Taking Child Welfare Into Account

There are several factors present when working out the details of an out of state custody agreement. Moving a child back and forth can be hard on them, when adapting to surroundings they are not familiar with, not to mention friends, school, family, etc. The courts are the ones that decide who keeps the child, ensuring that their decision is in the best interest of the child. These arrangements don’t necessarily hurt anyone intentionally, but can sometimes seem like it. It is suggested that the parents discuss and are encouraged to design their own custody arrangement in order to prevent any disagreements. Parents are the experts on what their schedules are like and who can best meet the needs of the children.

What Does an Out of State Agreement Consist Of?

An out of state agreement is similar in nature to an in state agreements. Legal and physical custody is decided and how custody should be divided with each parent is outlined. Out of state agreements are often more detailed in the allocation of time, such as who will visit the child in their state and when the child will travel out of state. Child-rearing decisions like chores, discipline and communication will often be mapped out so as to make it consistent between each home. There is also the amount and frequency of child support to consider. The costs associated with raising children is as high as it ever has been, this means that health insurance, schooling, taxes and other requirements must also be taken into account. You also need to take into account your children’s personal and everyday needs as well as their developmental needs. It’s always a good idea to work with an attorney so the best interests of the child are met and the agreement is thorough and legally binding.

Can It Be Tailored to My Situation?

Customizing your own agreement is always the best scenario. In an ideal world, exes would be able to set personal issues aside, sit down and calmly discuss all the details of the custody arrangement while ensuring the child’s welfare. When working through your agreement, here are some things to consider:

  • Age and Maturity of the Children
  • Health and Special Needs of the Children
  • Distance Between Each Home
  • Type, Time and Cost of Travel
  • School and Work Schedules for All Involved.

If the agreement no longer works you or the ex-spouse, revisions can be made. This will typically require a return to family court in order to request changes. This revision must be requested in the state the child lives and should not be made unless absolutely necessary. If you feel you need a better or different agreement, contact an attorney, they can assist you in knowing your rights as well the rights and best interest of your child/children.