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How do interstate custody agreements work?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Child Custody

It’s not uncommon for parents to live in different states and share an interstate child custody agreement. An interstate custody agreement ensures that parents have visitation rights and obligations even when parents don’t live in the same state.

An interstate child custody agreement is just as complicated as any other legal arrangement. So, it’s only natural to have questions. Here’s what you may need to know about these agreements:

Can a parent make a new custody order in a new state?

The purpose of an interstate custody agreement is so that parents can’t cross over to a new state and make a new custody order. Historically, courts would disregard custody orders from other states and make new orders for parents. As a result, parents who had physical custody of their child at the time could be arrested for kidnapping if they crossed over state lines. Today, interstate custody agreements that are made in one state are valid in nearly every other state. 

How do interstate custody schedules differ from other custody schedules?

One of the hardest parts of having an interstate custody plan is traveling for visitation rights. Some parents may live several hours away, which may mean that parents may drive the distance to see their children. For a long-distance visitation schedule, parents may have to fly their children to the other parent. During this time, that parent could have visitation rights with their children for weeks to a month.

Do you need legal help?

As stated above, interstate child custody agreements are complicated legal documents. Parents may need to know their legal options to ensure they’re taking every right for the well-being of their children. 


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