parents may choose to live as far apart as possible after their marriages end. For instance, one person could live in California while the other lives in New York. However, parents are still allowed to see their children regardless of where they live. Generally speaking, a custody agreement is enforceable even if the custodial parent moves to another state. This is because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
When parents live in different states, it is necessary to determine which is the child’s home state. The home state is the one in which a custody ruling and future custody decisions will usually be made. A state is the home state if it is the one where the child has lived with a parent for the last six months. It may also where a child would have lived if a parent hadn’t moved him or her.
A parent who removes a child for an inappropriate reason could lose custody. A home state could also be where a minor has friends or close family ties or where he or she is staying for safety reasons. In the event that multiple states could have jurisdiction, the state that rules first is the home state.
In a custody matter, the best interests of the child will typically trump the needs of the parents. Therefore, a custodial parent may need to allow the noncustodial parent to have visitation if a court orders it. Visitation may include talking on the phone with a son or daughter or other forms of virtual visitation. An attorney may help a parent who is looking to pursue additional rights or obtain custody of his or her child.