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Child custody issues regarding co-parent residence

You may be one of many Minnesota parents who own more than one home.
Perhaps you own a business, as well. Such circumstances might lead to you and your ex living in different states following a divorce. This could present unique child custody issues, but that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve a fair and agreeable settlement.

Be aware that only one state can have jurisdiction over a specific child custody case. Several factors can help determine which state should oversee proceedings in your case. Both parents must adhere to the laws of the state with jurisdiction.

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

It’s not uncommon for co-parents to disagree about child custody issues, including deciding which state they want to file their case in. If this issue is relevant in your case, you’ll want to learn more about the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), which lists determining factors for jurisdiction for child custody proceedings, such as those shown in the following list:

  • Your child lives in Minnesota or elsewhere to escape neglect, abandonment or abuse in another state.
  • Your child resides in a particular state to maintain relationships and routines that he or she was accustomed to during your marriage, such as where he or she goes to school or connections with relatives or close friends.
  • Your child has been living or did live in a particular state for six months or more before you or your ex relocated with him or her to another state.

It’s possible that more than one state might meet the criteria for jurisdiction. If that is the case in your situation, whichever state makes an initial child custody ruling will have jurisdiction. Rulings from that state will be enforceable in the other states.

Interstate visitation and custody arrangements

You and your ex might live a short distance away from each other in separate states. If so, you might agree that all custody transfers will take place by car. For co-parents who live a farther distance apart, airplane travel, train travel or other means of transportation may be necessary. In such cases, you’ll want to incorporate specific terms of agreement regarding air travel or other non-automobile travel into your child custody plan.

For example, you might want to agree that your kids can only travel by direct flight if they will not have adult accompaniment on the plane. You might also want to agree to an extended visitation schedule to prevent kids from having to travel frequently between two households. For instance, they might stay with you for several months, then travel to their other parent’s home for several months. You can keep this rotation throughout the year but may wish to include special instructions for holidays or birthdays.

If legal problems arise regarding your child custody plan

There’s no way to divorce without it disrupting your children’s lives, but it doesn’t have to cause them unnecessary stress. If a legal issue arises that you do not feel equipped to resolve on your own, you should not hesitate to reach out for additional child custody guidance and support.