Interstate Parenting Plans and Visitation Schedules
You must follow state custody guidelines and laws when you make your parenting plan. When parents live in different states, one of the states will have jurisdiction over the custody arrangements.
Custody X Change is software that helps parents who live in different states create a parenting plan and visitation schedule.
If you and the other parent agree on which state to file your parenting plan in, you should follow the guidelines of that state as you make your plan and custody schedule.
If you and the other parent do not agree on which state has jurisdiction over your custody arrangements, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act determines which state has jurisdiction in custody cases.
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act says that a state court can decide custody arrangements only if it meets one of the following criteria:
- The child has lived in the state for at least 6 months or the child has been living in the state but is now gone because a parent recently moved the child.
- The child has significant connections with teachers, relatives, friends, and other people in the state.
- The child is in the state for safety reasons because there is fear of abuse, neglect, or abandonment if in a different state.
- No state can meet any of the criteria above.
Only one state can issue a custody judgment. If more than one state meets the above criteria, the state that makes (or has already made) the first custody decision will be the state that has jurisdiction. Other states will enforce that decision.
You cannot move your child to a different state so that state will have jurisdiction over your custody case. If you do this, you will be denied custody.
Once you've determined which state has jurisdiction over your custody arrangements, you can make your parenting plan and visitation schedule.
If you and your child's other parent live in different states but the states are not far away from each other and there is not extensive traveling for visitation, you just need a standard parenting plan and you have many options for your visitation schedule.
When your child must travel by flight or a long car distance, you will need to make a long distance parenting plan. Your plan should include information about how the child will travel for visitation, how the parents will pay for travel expenses, terms and conditions for visiting the child at home, etc.
For a long distance visitation schedule, the child lives with one parent and visits the other parent. The amount of visitation depends on the family situation and the needs of the child.
When parents have a parenting plan in place but one of them relocates to a new state or a long distance away, the parents must make a new parenting plan for the long distance.
If you are the custodial parent and you are relocating, you need to check the terms and conditions of your current plan to make sure that you are allowed to move the child to a different state. If the noncustodial parent agrees to your move you should be able to move with the child. If the noncustodial parent does not want you to move, you may have to go to court to sort it out.