You and your significant other both lived in Connecticut when you got married. You had two children together and started to raise a family.
As your marriage fizzled out, though, your spouse began traveling a lot more. Eventually, he or she lived out of state most of the time, just coming back to visit. By the time you officially filed for divorce, you and your spouse lived in different states full time. You stayed in Connecticut with the kids, while your spouse lived elsewhere.
This can make your divorce a bit more complex. Below are four things you should know:
1. Connecticut courts will make the custody decisions
Home states take precedence in these case. For custody purposes, your children’s home state is still Connecticut. That means that, even if your spouse thinks he or she would prefer to have the case tried elsewhere, it must happen in Connecticut.
Technically, children need to live in a state for six months or more, while with a parent, for that state to count as a home state. Your kids have lived there all their lives, so they count.
2. Custody orders carry over from state to state
Yes, states do have different laws when it comes to divorce, but the orders they give out still stand in other states. Authorities do enforce these orders. Your rights still stand as defined by the court.
So, your ex cannot violate the order in a new state and then claim that order doesn’t count since the court passed it down in Connecticut. It still stands, no matter where your ex lives.
3. You must get the court’s permission to move with the children
The court always looks out for the children’s best interests, not the parents’ best interests. For this reason, a major move has to get approved. It may not be hard to move within Shelton, for instance, if you buy a new house, but you cannot just pack up and move to New York.
Things that courts consider when looking at the children’s best interests include quality of life, school systems, peer groups, proximity to other family members and much more.
4. Virtual visitation can keep your spouse connected
Just because your spouse no longer lives in state doesn’t mean contact gets cut off. Many parents use video conference programs on phones, tablets and computers to visit with the children. The court order could contain a visitation schedule that both parents must adhere to, even if it’s not face-to-face.
You have a lot of things to consider when living in different states and trying to find some balance after divorce. Make sure you know all of the legal rights that you have.