Fighting for Custody Across State Lines

A mother and child walking

Fighting for custody across state lines is a battle many parents have to face. Nonetheless, the fact that you are not the only one going through it does not really make the ordeal any less complicated. Potential mistakes that come from insufficient knowledge or preparation could cost you and your child some invaluable things. While the worst-case scenario can usually be avoided by hiring a reputable attorney, it’s still wise to do everything in your power to ensure everyone has your child’s best interest in mind. So, what do you need to pay attention to while resolving this complex legal matter? Read on to find out.

Be objective about what is best for your child

Once a child comes into your life, maintaining their health and well-being becomes one of your most important responsibilities. Since keeping this in mind is not always easy (which does not necessarily make you a bad parent), reminding yourself of your priorities is essential. After all, temporarily losing your focus amid an emotional and turbulent divorce is not that uncommon.

With that said, before you begin the long and arduous process of fighting for custody across state lines, make sure to figure out what is actually best for the little one – with or without the other parent.

Do you genuinely think your kid’s life will be better if they are with you in another state? Answering this and similar questions objectively isn’t easy, but it must be done if you want to give your child the best life possible.

Legal help is imperative when fighting for custody across state lines

Unless law happens to be your area of expertise, you should by no means dive into this battle without an experienced, reliable attorney by your side. This kind of help likely won’t come cheap, but it’s safe to say your child’s life is more important than money.

A gavel

A good child custody lawyer will be able to guide you through the process, advise you on the best course of action, and explain anything you don’t understand along the way. Moreover, they will ensure you don’t make any mistakes that could otherwise cost you your parental rights.

This kind of knowledge and support should allow you to go through the entire journey with much less fear and stress, which is especially important if you don’t want your child to be traumatized by the experience.

Parents should put their differences aside, no matter the outcome

Even though you and your child’s other parent might not be on good terms, it’s advisable for both parties to try to work things out as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you should get back together – putting petty arguments and immature bickering aside for the sake of your kid is enough for starters. Keep in mind that, although your little one might be really little, they still understand what is going on because they feel everything you are going through. If both parents genuinely care about the child’s well-being, establishing a civil relationship shouldn’t be a big issue.

With that said, try to discuss your long-term plans regarding your child as parents, as this will significantly simplify and shorten the entire process in court. Co-parenting comes with a healthy dose of compromising, which surely won’t be easy – until you remind yourself why you are doing it.

What factors does the court consider when deciding which parent gets custody?

The court takes into consideration a number of factors when determining what type of custody is in the child’s best interest. Here are a few of them:

· The parents’ wishes

· The ability of both parents to take care of and provide for the child, both emotionally and financially

· The distance between homes

Keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every case is unique, and the court is able to break some rules if the child’s best interest requires this to be done.

 Two kids

Types of custody

As we’ve established in the previous paragraph, there are a few different types of child custody. Depending on how the court rules, you and your ex-partner will have more or less influence in your kid’s life.

· Temporary custody is established once the parents file for divorce, and it is valid until the process is finalized.

· Physical custody (joint or sole) determines who the child lives with on a daily basis.

· Legal custody (joint or sole) allows the custodian parent to be in charge of the child’s upbringing.

· Full custody allows one parent sole physical and legal custody of the child.

· Joint custody implies that both parents have a say in raising the child.

Moving with your child to another state

If the court determines that it is indeed in your child’s best interest to move out of state with you, you will finally be able to start planning your relocation from neighboring Florida. While it might seem that the hard part is over once you get to this stage, know that you are not entirely through with the tribulations yet.
Moving out of state with kids after a divorce is a challenge in and of itself. You will need to explain to your child why they must leave the familiarity of home, which might be particularly overwhelming if they are too young or attached to their surroundings. Nonetheless, there is nothing a bit of patience, love, and understanding can’t fix. Make sure you are attentive to your child’s needs and feelings, and they will surely accept their new life more easily.

 A mother with her two kids

The bottom line

All parents who have experience fighting for custody across state lines agree that the process is never simple or easy, no matter the outcome. Regardless of how your divorce played out, your child is entitled to having both parents in their life, which can become quite challenging when state borders are in the way. However, since circumstances we are presented with are rarely ideal, adapting to the new situation and making the best out of it in terms of your child’s well-being is imperative.