Divorce Across States

Posted by on Feb 11, 2019 in Divorce | 0 comments

Living as a divorced parent is hard work. There are tons of challenges that you face on a weekly and monthly basis. Creating a positive environment for your child is hard enough with two parents. It’s a much more difficult task to create a positive environment when your child is constantly switching back and forth between homes. Children need more stability than adults do in order to thrive, learn, and grow. Nowadays, it is easier than ever to move across the country. Communication and transit technology make it easy to keep relationships strong even when you live a far distance apart. But state divorce courts rule strictly on how much time each parent is allowed to spend face-to-face with their child. I began to wonder how this works for parents that live in separate states. What state gets to make a ruling? What happens if state rules conflict? Who is responsible for traveling with the children? I found some insightful information on the BB Law Group, PLLC website. The lawyers at this office help parents change, enforce, and defend divorce rulings between parents that live out of state.

Typically, when the question of guardianship is being determined for a child for the first time, this issue is resolved in the child’s home state. The home state is defined as the state where the child has lived for the last six months. If a child has not reached six months in age, the state where the child was born and has lived since is considered the home state.

If the child has moved around constantly, there may be no home state. In this case, courts will look to see which state has the most significant connection to the child. The states where the parents live are the main factors in determining this. Courts will also look at where the child has lived previously and speak with the child’s teachers and doctors to determine where they have the most connections.

When both parents have moved out of the state where the court ruled, a parent may motion to have the divorce decree amended. If one parent still remains in the state, the decree must remain until the child has lived outside of the original state for a couple years.

Maintaining a strong relationship with a child is difficult if you live out of state. Sometimes these circumstances can’t be avoided due to the economy or the line of work that you’re involved in. Sending texts and emails can help keep communication constant on a day to day basis. Taking time to have video calls does a lot to strengthen a relationship, especially for young children. Face-to-face interaction is meaningful even if it’s through a screen. Another great way to maintain a relationship while you’re away is to create shared experiences. Make a point to both watch a sports game, television show, or read a book. Then talk about what happened over a phone call. This creates a shared memory and gives you the opportunity to see personal insight into your child’s thought process.

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