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Out of state custody... How does it work?

Posted by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM
  • 13 Replies
I am moving to southern South Carolina this summer and my sons father has moved away as well (from our current location). He has talked about taking me to court for custody- how do most long distance separate state custody arraignments work?
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 7:11 PM
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Replies (1-10):
krisnkids
by Gold Member on Jun. 2, 2014 at 7:15 PM
What does the current custody order read and are you two following it?
woodstock525
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 7:21 PM

A lot of it depends on who moved, where the two parties are living, what the pattern of visitation has been up to that time, etc..  Before you move, if you are the residential parent, you need to have the CO changed.  If not, the courts might come back and offer you the choice of moving back to where you were or giving the other parent primary residential custody.

I moved out of state when my dd was 12.  I didn't know about having to get a new custody order.  My ex and I got along, we discussed the move and agreed to everything.  Neither one of us wanted to pay court costs or attorney's fees to put a stamp on what we agreed to.  I did send the courts a letter that I also had to send certified to my ex, informing him of the move and my new address.

Since I moved, we agreed that I would fly my dd back to see him once per month (typically it worked out that the schools had a long weekend almost once a month) and she stayed with him for most of Christmas break, spring break and most of the summer.  I always got her for Thanksgiving break and for our vacation in the summer.  It worked for us, but then we got along.

Lizzy0022
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM
There's nothing so far in court and he's only taken him 2 weekends in the last 6 months
LifeCafe42
by on Jun. 2, 2014 at 11:56 PM
There are a lot of factors but the biggest is who leaves
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
cjsmom1
by Group Admin on Jun. 3, 2014 at 3:18 AM

He left the state first? How long ago did he leave?

sid1083
by on Jun. 3, 2014 at 4:53 PM

It's dependent on quite a few factors. Usually states will have sample LD visitation - because what might work for a 3 hour drive wouldn't necessarily be a good idea for a cross-country flight.

oldmamamel
by on Jun. 3, 2014 at 4:55 PM

From MY experience with this (in CA) the law states they have to assume the 'move away' parent IS moving with OR without the children - in that instance what is the BEST situation for the kids?  Doesn't matter if dad is here or there or when he moved; f you are primary and he doesn't see them much then you have a great chance!

woodstock525
by on Jun. 3, 2014 at 9:02 PM

Even if you both move from the state where the court order was established, the court there still has jurisdiction over the case unless and until you make a motion through the court in the new location (after establishing residency) to move the case.

While the other parent not taking all of their visitation may help strengthen your case, it still doesn't give you permission to move particularly to move out of state without filing through the courts for permission to move with the child and establishment of a new long distance visitation plan.  

Lizzy0022
by on Jun. 3, 2014 at 10:19 PM
I was mainly looking for what other people have in their cases- I just haven't seen many long distant custody and wasn't sure what it would look like at all.
sid1083
by on Jun. 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

Mine was written up for super-long distance (think 6 hour overseas plane ride):
- 5 consecutive days, once every 3 months with overnights taken after the 2nd day
- BD travels to the kids (mine right now are only 2 & 4 y/o, but I forgot the provision to change that when they get older)
- starting at age 7, BD can have 3 weeks in the summer of his choice, with no more than 2 consecutive weeks
- travel split 50/50
- no specific provisions for birthdays/holidays, but he can request his visitation fall on or around the birthday/holiday
- unlimited phone contact, with all calls happening before 9p in our timezone

As a disclaimer - I drafted this while angry and bitter. With the exception of the every 3 months part (as suggested by a sample LD schedule on our state's website - to minimize financial impact and be more practical), I did the rest and am not proud of it. I've let BD know he is welcome to take more than the minimum alotted, he just has to let me know.

Quoting Lizzy0022: I was mainly looking for what other people have in their cases- I just haven't seen many long distant custody and wasn't sure what it would look like at all.


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