Sharing custody of a child is never easy, nor is sole custody simple for the child or parents, but doing so across state lines is twice as straining. In addition to the stresses and logistical difficulties, the legal conditions required to move or navigate interstate parenting are hardly straightforward.
When it comes to establishing child custody, allowing parents to move, and even guaranteeing child support, you will need the help of an experienced interstate parenting attorney.
Ending Up In A Cross-State Child Custody Arrangement
Generally speaking, most parents do not want to have to deal with interstate co-parenting. Unfortunately, sometimes you do not have much of a choice. Perhaps after a divorce, you have to move back in with your family, or you get a dream job offer in another state.
When that happens during or after a divorce with children, you will have to make a choice: stay in Colorado or deal with interstate parenting.
If both you and your former spouse can agree on an arrangement, regardless of state boundaries, there is a good chance you will able to validate it. Clear communication, 100% honesty, and a good family law attorney will help ensure the arrangement is perfectly drafted to avoid problems later.
If, however, you and your ex cannot agree, then child custody arrangements become more complicated, and the need for an interstate lawyer is all the more acute.
Initial and Post-Decree Interstate Child Custody Decisions
Depending on when you try to leave the state, and when the court has to decide interstate child custody, the criterion they will take into account differs significantly.
If you and/or your spouse are planning to leave the state during the initial child custody conflict/decision, this is called an initial decree decision. In this case, the court will not take into account your reason for wishing to leave, they will simply treat you as if you were already living in the other state.
If, on the other hand, you decide to leave the state at a later point, the court will take into account your reasons for wishing to leave when making its decision. In addition, they will need you to bring compelling evidence that the child will be better off in the new location if you wish to keep custody.
Ultimately the court is always seeking out the best outcome for the child. Sometimes that will mean having them stay in a state with a familiar school and friend group, other times that will mean allowing them to move to be closer to family and in a better economic situation.
In either case, whether deciding in the initial decree or afterward, you will want an experienced interstate child custody lawyer on your side.
Establishing Jurisdiction For Interstate Custody Conflicts
Another complication that may arise is how to handle conflicts over child custody, child support, or other legal disputes between parents across state boundaries. After all, with two or more state governments potentially involved, before the issue can be resolved you have to figure out which state’s laws will apply to the decision.
This is called jurisdiction and in interstate or long-distance parenting cases, it is one of the many reasons having a qualified cross-state lawyer on your side is crucial. After all, state laws differ on family law topics and you need to make sure you and your child’s interests are fairly represented.
Hiring A Long-Distance Parenting Attorney
Whether you have sole custody and your child needs to visit another state, or whether you are needing to travel to see your child for visitations, long-distance co-parenting is a challenge.
Do not go through it alone, get expert legal advice and guidance from a long-distance parenting attorney so that you can ensure the best possible future