Child Custody Battle If Kids Move States

out of state custodyQuestion:

What are the chances I could get joint custody of my kids when they live in one state and I live in another?

The kids did live here with me until their mom came and took them while my wife and I were at work.

The other question is do I have any rights at all to my kids and is it best if I sign myself up for child support? I have text messages that clearly state that she doesn’t want me to have the kids because she feels that I will file them on my taxes.

Is that fair to a parent that really just wants to have his kids in his life? What can I do in this matter?


I do not practice law in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of that state and can only provide you with general tips on divorce and family law.

It is possible that the parties could be awarded joint custody when the parents live in different states, but it is not common. The primary question that I would need answered to properly address your question is how long have the children been in the current state they live in?

If it has been more than six months, the chance of the Court ordering them back to your state is slim to none because their new state would be considered their “home state.”  You certainly have rights to visitation with your children, and if you are employed, I would also encourage you to provide for them. However, you do not need to initiate an action through the child support collection system or courts to accomplish this.

Rather, I would advise you to pay the mother directly using a check or money order (so that you always have track of what you have paid).

Furthermore, if you are interested in having visitation with the children, you also have that right, assuming that you have been legally declared their father. If there is an Order in place that sets out your visitation, a Motion to Enforce Visitation might be appropriate. If not, a Petition to Establish Paternity might be required.

Again, however, I caution you that involvement with the Court system in such matters can be expensive in terms of money, time, and emotion, and once you open the door for visitation, the door for child support is going to open with it. Perhaps you and the mother can figure something out between yourselves. I guarantee this will be faster and more efficient.

I wish you all the best. Thank you.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Illinois divorce lawyer Christina Milien, contact Cordell & Cordell.

End of Content Icon

One comment on “Child Custody Battle If Kids Move States

    What the heck did I just read?!
    This is awful advice! You should not give money directly to the mother, as it will not be credited to you should she decide to file for child support. If you worry about them, and they need coats, supplies, etc, then you buy coats, supplies, etc. DO NOT write her a check.
    Were you married? Is there a divorce order? What does that say? How did the kids come to live with you?
    Coming to an agreement outside of court is meaningless and she can do whatever she wants, especially if you were not married.
    You need to file for the return of the children to your home, IN COURT!
    If you were not married, it will be a longer, tougher process but you have a responsibility to your children to do it. Get an attorney and move fast. This guy is right about the time frame. Do not let her establish residency for those kids in another state.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *