Brazil & Benske, LLC

Parenting plans for out-of-state visitation

A divorce can sometimes mean a fresh start. You may take a job out-of-state or relocate closer to old friends or family members. When your former spouse wants to stay put with the children, this can create complications as you devise the parenting plan

Though you may be hundreds of miles away from your kids, you can still see them regularly. Here are the things you should keep in mind as you draw up the paperwork.

Schedule needs

Because travel to a different state can be lengthy, your visits will likely be longer than just a weekend. This means you and your ex will need to take the child’s schedule into account before setting up any long-term visits.

Days off from school, such as summer vacation or holiday breaks, are great opportunities to plan a substantial visit in advance. You and your ex may come to an agreement that the children spend a good portion of the summertime with you. With holidays, one of you may claim Christmas or Thanksgiving, or you may institute a rotation that alternates each year.

You do not want to regularly pull your children out of school, and the judge is unlikely to support this, anyway, even if joint custody plans. Sit down and work out the best times to schedule a visit that will not impact the kids’ education.

Travel accommodations

Another factor to think about is how you will work out the travel arrangements. Is your new home close enough to drive, or will your children need to fly there? Depending on the age of your kids, flying unaccompanied may be an unappealing option. Another option may be to drive halfway, while your ex meets you from the other direction.

Regardless of how you arrange transfer of the kids, you should also work out the travel costs ahead of time. Who pays for plane tickets? Driving may eat up a lot of gas, so which of you covers this expense?

Working in regular visits with your children is important, regardless of where you may end up living. Think about how you will work this out when developing your parenting plan.

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