Visitation When Parents Relocate Out of State

Mother and daughter hugging

For parents, one of the absolute toughest parts of separation is spending less time with your children. Transitioning from daily bonding time and proximity into days without contact is a jarring experience.

Therefore, you can only imagine the conflicts that we see when a custodial parent wants to move a child to another state.

Courts Must Authorize Relocation

Relocation with a child out of state is a significant life event and a change in circumstances. Courts take this subject very seriously and require such a relocation to either be agreed upon by the parties in writing, or to be presented to the court for authorization. Judges understand the disruptive and lasting impact that such a move can have on a child and the non-custodial parent. In essence, the non-custodial parent’s ability to visit and see the child will be significantly hampered by the distance, the expense, and the time it takes to facilitate the visits.

Visitation When a Parent Relocates Out of State

The law presumes that it is in children’s best interest to have ample contact with suitable parents and to encourage a healthy parent-child relationship. This does not change simply because a parent and child live in different states. If relocation is to occur, parents and courts attempt to create visitation plans that balance this need for ample contact with the child’s need for normalcy.

For example, it simply isn’t feasible for a child to be enrolled in two different schools for visitation purposes. Instead, a custodial parent will have the child during the school year, while the other parent may receive extensive visitation periods during the summer, extended school dates, and alternating holidays. Also, courts will order the custodial parent to allow or facilitate an expansive plan for telephone or electronic communication between the parent and child.

Plane tickets are expensive. For some parents, the cost of frequent air travel is prohibitive of visiting their child. One of the biggest hurdles that must be addressed is how the child will be transported and who will bear financial responsibility for the travel. Further, some of the factors that a court may weigh in authorizing and devising a parenting plan include:

  • The nature of the parent-child relationships.
  • The extent to which the non-custodial parent has exercised existing visitation.
  • Whether the custodial parent has hindered the non-custodial parent’s continued relationship with the child.
  • The geographic distance between the parents.
  • The child’s school schedule, holiday schedule, and extracurricular commitments.

Contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P.

If you need help resolving the custody of your child, contact Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. Our family law attorneys represent men and women who want a clear, thoughtful resolution to these difficult issues. If you want a smart, effective attorney who advocates for parental rights, call Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. today at (775) 227-2280 or contact our office through our website.

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