Out of State Visitation Rights

Economics and employment opportunities may result in not only out-of-state traveling, but also moving from one state to another. This can become complicated if a child is involved and the parents separate or divorce. It then becomes necessary to consider the issue of the out of state visitation rights of all parties in this situation.

Visitation Rights

In most instances, visitation rights for both the person who lives with the offspring (custodial parent) and the parent who does not (non-custodial parent) are spelt out in the separation agreement. With an increasing number of parents, both custodial and non-custodial moving elsewhere to look for work or transferring to increase their ability to earn or rise in the company, it makes sense to consider out-of state visitation possibilities. Today, when considering visitation rights it is wise to look at more than the basics of

  • How often
  • How long
  • Pattern e.g. every other weekend, every other day
  • Holiday schedule e.g. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, summer holidays
  • Who picks up and drops off
  • Who pays for transportation costs  - Is it a 50/50 split or does each pay their own end?

Parents and their attorneys should also consider possible future scenarios such as an out-of-town or out-of-state move.

Out Of State Visitation Rights

A parent who moves out of state retains the right to visit his or her child or children. This is valid unless otherwise stated in the agreement. He or she cannot be denied the right to visit the child or have the child come visit him or her. However, the non-custodial parent may not be able to enforce the visitation rights under certain circumstances. These include:

  • The extremely young age of a child e.g. toddler, infant
  • If an older child does not wish to go
  • If the distance requires the child take a plane or transportation and neither parent is able to accompany the child
  • If the agreement stipulates such visitations are not permissible

Either parent can arrange with the court to amend the agreement

Amending the Agreement

It is responsible to amend the agreement for out-of-state visitations if the distance between the parent and offspring make former economic or other arrangements for transportation difficult for either party. If the distance also interferes with formerly weekend visits, consider amending the agreement to make it more amenable for both parties.

Using An Attorney

An attorney in divorce law will help you prepare and execute a fair child custody agreement. A knowledgeable lawyer may suggest the consideration of possible future scenarios.  This will ensure the proper handling of visitation rights if either parent moves out of state.

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