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Divorces in Pasadena, CA often result in a variety of changes for both spouses and their children. In some cases, one parent may have to move out of the state for their job or to be with their family. When this occurs, you may have to create an interstate custody plan. Interstate custody plans are court orders that detail the physical and legal rights a parent holds for their child while living out of state. If you’re trying to learn more about how interstate child custody plans work, talk to our team at Khalaf Law Group.

Your Pasadena Family Law Firm

At Khalaf Law Group, we have an in-depth understanding of family law in California. We can assist our clients in a multitude of legal scenarios, including interstate child custody requests. While creating an interstate child custody agreement that works for both parents can be challenging, it is not impossible. Our lead attorney can help you learn about your rights in a California divorce, protect your child’s interests, and fight for a favorable solution to your issue. Our child custody services are effective and efficient, which has allowed us to negotiate constructive outcomes for clients all over California and beyond.

Pasadena Interstate Child Custody Lawyer

Understanding Interstate Child Custody

Sometimes a couple that has children together ends up separating. When this happens, and one parent has to move out of state, the parents will have to change their agreement to address interstate legalities. In some situations, a child may be born to parents who already live in two different states. If either of these scenarios occurs, both parents will most likely have to form an interstate child custody agreement.

There are multiple state and federal laws that discuss how child custody works. One law, known as the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), discusses the jurisdiction of an agreement that involves parents in different states. UCCJEA clarifies that in interstate custody cases, the most impactful factor in a judge’s decision should be where the child lives. This means that, in most cases, the state that the child lives in will have jurisdiction over their custody order.

For a state to be considered a child’s “home state,” they must have been living there for at least six months. If the child recently moved and has not been located in their current state for six months, a judge will then have to consider other aspects such as their community ties, relationships with each parent, and more.

The UCCJEA also discusses parental kidnapping. This legislation states that it is unlawful for one parent to take their child to another state and attempt to have their custody jurisdiction changed. Unfortunately, many parents try to do this to get a custody result in their favor. However, if a parent takes their child without the proper permission and travels out of state, they may face parental kidnapping charges in California or the state in which they were arrested.

Possible Modifications to an Interstate Child Custody Agreement

Whether one parent just decided to move or they are already living in a different state, your child custody agreement must reflect the living situations of both parents and adjust parenting time as needed. In most cases of interstate custody requests, one parent recently decided on their out-of-state move and would like to have their child custody order modified. To do this, they will have to petition for modifications through the family court in their child’s home state. If a judge accepts their request, there are a variety of modifications that may be made in the child’s interests.

Modifying Joint Custody Terms to Reflect Changes in Parenting Time

In situations where parents share joint physical custody, modifications will most likely still need to occur due to the changes in parenting time. A judge generally will do one of two things. In some cases, a judge may simply adjust the order to create a schedule and ensure both parents receive a fair amount of time with their children. In other cases where there is a drastic change in parenting time, a judge may also create a schedule in addition to adjusting child support payments. For example, joint custody can still exist if one parent has the children during the summer and one parent has them during the school year in another state. However, the parent that has the children less often will most likely be required to pay more child support.

Changing Joint Custody to Sole Custody

If a judge considers your situation and decides that joint physical custody is not in your child’s interest, they may ultimately end up changing the entire order. With some interstate custody cases, it’s more realistic for one parent to be granted sole custody in their child’s home state. This means that the parent that lives out of state will receive visitation rights instead of joint custody rights. When joint custody turns into sole custody, child support orders will also be modified to make up for the difference in parenting time. The non-custodial parent is generally the one mandated to make child support payments.

Granting Frequent Visitation Rights

Whether sole custody was already in place or your child custody order was just changed, most interstate orders that involve sole custody grant frequent visitation rights. The parent who does not have sole physical custody, otherwise known as the non-custodial parent, may be given frequent visitation rights if they have an easy commute or are able to be in town often. However, frequent visitation may still need to be scheduled to ensure the general safety of everyone involved.

How Can Khalaf Law Group Help You?

Figuring out what to do in an interstate custody case can be difficult, but with the right help, you can fight for the outcome you deserve. Our experienced team at Khalaf Law Group takes every parent’s right to see their child seriously. We also believe in representing your child’s interests at all times. If you or your ex-spouse are contemplating moving out of state, talk to Khalaf Law Group to find out more about interstate child custody orders.

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