When parents live in different states, custody agreements can become complicated. Not only do the parents have to work out a schedule that works for both of them, but they also need to navigate different state laws and jurisdictions.
One of the first things parents need to do when creating a custody agreement is to determine which state has jurisdiction over the custody arrangement. This is typically the state where the child has lived for the past six months. However, if the child is under six months old, jurisdiction may be determined by the child’s home state at birth or the state where the parents lived together at the time of the child’s birth.
Once jurisdiction is established, parents can begin to work out the details of the custody agreement. This includes deciding on a parenting time schedule, which outlines when the child will spend time with each parent. This schedule can be difficult to coordinate when parents live in different states, but it can often be accomplished with some creative thinking and compromise.
It’s important for parents to remember that the best interests of the child should always come first when creating a custody agreement. This means that parents should try to create a schedule that allows the child to maintain a close relationship with both parents, even if they live far apart.
Another important consideration in custody agreements for parents living in different states is transportation. In many cases, one parent will need to travel to the other state to pick up or drop off the child for visits. It’s important to consider the cost of travel, as well as the logistics of coordinating transportation.
Finally, it’s important for parents to work with an experienced family law attorney to help them navigate the complexities of creating a custody agreement when they live in different states. An attorney can help parents understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as the laws that apply to their situation.
In conclusion, creating a custody agreement when parents live in different states can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. By working together, considering the best interests of the child, and seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney, parents can create a custody agreement that works for both of them and allows their child to maintain strong relationships with both parents.