Out-of-State Child Custody & Visitation
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
Parents who live in different states require a long-distance visitation schedule. Long distance schedules differ from other schedules in that they usually place the child with one parent for most of the time and with the distanced parent for extended visits throughout the year. This can affect their Supervised visitation.
What to consider when making your schedule
Consider what mode of transportation the child will use to go between homes (e.g., airplane, train, etc.) and whether parents will split the costs.
Out-of-state parent visiting the child
You should consider allowing the distanced parent to visit so the child doesn't have to travel as frequently. Figure out when this is feasible and where the parent will stay. Set up your supervised visitation ahead of time and have a monitor in place if needed.
Holidays and vacations
In some cases, it's easiest to align the child's visits with holidays and school breaks to avoid disrupting their schedule. Decide how you will divide up these occasions. For example, the distanced parent may have the child over summer break in even-numbered years.
It's essential that the child stays in touch with the distanced parent. Specify how they can communicate with the other parent (e.g., phone, video call, etc.), how often and whether the child should have their own phone. Consider setting aside time in the schedule for calls. Have monitored zoom or skype calls if professional supervised calls are needed.
Out-of-state schedule ideas
When parents live in different states, the child lives with one parent and visits the other. Visits are usually less frequent but longer. There are several options, including;
The child lives with one parent during the school year and stays with the other parent during summer break.
Once a month, the child visits the out-of-state parent for an extended weekend (Friday afternoon to Sunday night).
When the child is not in school, they visit the out-of-state parent for five to seven days every month or every other month.
Visits are unspecified, meaning they occur whenever the out-of-state parent and child are available.