Out of State Child Custody and Visitation Schedules

Things to Consider When Making Your Out of State Schedule

If you and your child’s other parent live in different states, you need a long distance visitation schedule.  When making a long distance schedule, you have to think about how to make visitation work with extra travel requirements, along with considering other factors to make your schedule work for your child.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Schedule and Plan Now

Some things to think about for an out of state schedule are:

  • How will your child travel between homes? Does the child have to fly? Can the parents share driving?
  • How will you share the expense of travel? Do parents split the cost of flights? Do parents drive equal ways?
  • Would it work for the out of state parent to come and visit the child? Is there a place for the parent to stay? Who pays for the travel and lodging? How do you decide when the parent can visit?
  • Is your child in school? Does your child have school holidays and vacations that would work for longer visits?
  • What ways can the out of state parent stay in touch with the child? Does your child need his/her own phone? Are there apps that would be helpful?

As you think about these things for your schedule, you can also make a long distance parenting plan that has the provisions you think will help make visitation work

Out of State Schedule Ideas

When parents live in different states, the children live with one parent and visit the other parent. Visits are usually less frequent, unless one parent has the money for flights, but they can last longer. You can also use holidays, vacation time and summer break to give the out of state parent more time.

Some out of state schedule ideas are:

  • The children live with one parent during the school year and stay with the other parent during summer break or for longer periods during the summer
  • The children visit the out of state parent one long weekend (a Friday afternoon to Sunday night) a month or as often as flying or driving allows
  • The children visit the out of state parent for a longer visit when they have a day off of school and during fall, winter and spring break
  • A child not in school visits the out of state parent for 5-7 days every month or every other month
  • The out of state parent can visit the children as frequently as possible
  • The custodial parent and the children visit the out of state parent and the custodial parent has a vacation or break

You will most likely use a combination of these visits. Like, you may have a schedule where your child visits the out of state parent every other month for a long weekend. Then, they also visit the parent for a few school holidays; for part of fall, winter and spring break; and for part or most of the summer. Then, the out of state parent flies to see the child a few times during the year or for special events in the child’s life.

The focus as you make a schedule and think about visitation is what will be best for your child. This means that you think about what will help your child maintain a positive, close relationship with both parents.

Young children who aren’t in school have more flexibility for visitation. As children get older and are more involved in activities you may have to adjust your schedule. Teenagers can be very busy and you may need to take their work schedule into account.

You should also think about other ways the out of state parent can see and talk to the child. You can schedule phone calls, or just call frequently. You can video call, send videos to each other, send pictures to each other, email, text, use apps for communication, etc. send text messages, etc. This way a parent who is far away can still be close to the child.

Things to Consider When Moving Out of State

If you or your child’s other parent are considering moving out of state, the most important thing to think about is how well the two of you can work things out. Parents who try to cooperate about their children can probably make an out of state schedule work. Parents who are constantly fighting and struggling to work anything out will have a much harder time.

If you do not have custody of your children and you want to move out of state, you should discuss the move with the custodial parent. You will need to explain why you need to move and talk about how that changes your custody arrangement. In some cases, you may need to get permission from the court before moving.

If you have custody of your children and you want to move out of state, you should talk about your move with the other parent. Because you are moving your child away from the parent it can be more complicated. As you talk to the other parent, you should discuss how the move benefits your child and your ideas about how the other parent will still have visitation. You will need to get permission from the court to move, but this is easier if the other parent agrees to the move.

Try and work with the other parent to come up with a schedule that everyone supports. You may also need to add provisions to your parenting plan that explains how you will make the schedule work, like how you will pay for travel, etc.

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Schedule and Plan Now

Custody X Change is software that creates professional parenting plan documents and parenting schedules.

Make Your Plan