Interstate Visitation – Creating a Plan that Works

Child Custody and Visitation

It’s a fairly typical situation in 21st century America—in the aftermath of a divorce, one of the parties relocates to another state, either for a job, to be close to family or simply for a fresh start. If there are minor children involved, though, there can be limitations on moving, particularly for custodial parents. However, when both parents agree that living in different states is in the children’s best interests, the parties want to do everything possible to make the visitation arrangement work. One of the best ways to do that is to create an interstate parenting plan.

An interstate parenting plan is an agreement, customarily in writing, that sets forth the terms of visitation when parents live in separate states. It typically identifies the time and place for visitation. Among the specific provisions, the plan usually specifies:

  • How often visitation will take place
  • Whether the children will travel to the non-custodial parent’s house or the non-custodial parent will come to the children
  • Where visitation will take place if the non-custodial parent is not taking the children to his to her house
  • Whether visitation will be supervised or unsupervised
  • Who pays for the transportation costs
  • How much notice must be given when visitation needs to be cancelled
  • Whether children are old enough to travel a long distance (take a plane trip, for example) to visit a non-custodial parent
  • How parents address legal custody issues when they don’t live in the same place

Ways to Ensure that Your Visitation Arrangement Will Work

It’s important to carefully craft the interstate visitation agreement so that you maximize your chances of success. You can’t expect the court to award joint physical custody—that’s not practical when the parents live in separate states. The court will look unfavorably on any proposed visitation that puts an undue or difficult burden on your children. A better arrangement typically involves travel by the non-custodial parent during the school year, with the possibility of visitation by the children to the home of the non-custodial parent during the summer and on school breaks.

Contact the Law Office of Len Conner & Associates

For experienced counsel in family law matters, contact our office online or call us at 972-445-1500 (toll free at 877-613-5800). Your first consultation is free of charge.

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Len Conner & Associates

600 John Carpenter Freeway,
Ste 238
Irving, Texas 75062


Phone: 972-445-1500

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