While it can make co-parenting more difficult, it’s not uncommon for separated or divorced parents to live in different states. When a couple is trying to establish an interstate child custody arrangement, courts in North Dakota and across the United States may use several factors to determine a child custody arrangement that will favor the best interests of the child.
For a court to determine a child’s home state during the process of an interstate custody arrangement, it will factor any significant connections the child has established in the state. These connections could include friends, relatives, teachers, grandparents, doctors, and other important relationships in the child’s life. If the child resides in a new state for safety reasons, such as neglect or abuse, the court will take necessary precautions to prevent the child from being sent back to the other state.
In an interstate custody agreement, the state that makes the final decision will be the child’s home state. For the state to be the child’s home state, the child must have lived with a parent for at least six months before the custody arrangement was requested. Or, the child must have been living in the state but is now residing in another state because a parent moved the child after the divorce.
A child custody arrangement can be an emotionally and financially difficult process to navigate. Resolving an interstate child custody agreement can be particularly difficult since the divorced parents reside in different states and communications may be limited. When estranged spouses are unable to reach an amiable child custody agreement, they may need legal help. An experienced child custody attorney may be able to help a divorced parent navigate the difficulties surrounding interstate custody issues.