How Does Out of State Parenting Time Work?

How Does Out of State Parenting Time Work?Planning Out of State Parenting Time


Non-custodial parents in New Jersey can enjoy ample parenting time when it is in the child’s best interests. But living in another state can make it difficult to take advantage of that time. Out of state parenting time is doable. Whether it is sustainable, however, hinges on many factors, such as:

  • The distance between the two parents’ houses
  • The reliability and cost of transportation
  • The ability of the parents to communicate and cooperate, and
  • The school schedule, activity, and needs of the child

Making out of state parenting time work requires addressing the many factors involved to find a plan that suits your specific family. Parents who’re able to agree can get creative and flexible to accommodate their child’s needs and wants and their parenting rights. Generally speaking, you have a number of options for out of state parenting time, which we’ll take a look at below.

Consolidating Parenting Time

If transportation is time-consuming, costly, or otherwise prohibitive, consider consolidating your parenting time to reduce the trips your child needs to make. For example, your child could spend a large amount of time with you during summer but live with the custodial parent during the school year.

Take Advantage of School Breaks

Time away from school is one of the top concerns for out of state parents seeking parenting time. You can take advantage of breaks during the school year, such as spring break, to exercise your parenting time rights. If monthly travel is doable, your child can spend one long weekend a month with the out of state parent. Planning your parenting time on long holiday weekends can minimize the time your child misses from school.

Open New Channels of Communication

Parenting time can’t always be held in person. Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever to stay in contact with loved ones. Consider weekly Skype or video call parenting time sessions. Phone calls, emails, and text messaging are all good ways to stay in contact with your child in another state.

A Group Effort

It is likely you will employ a few of these techniques to facilitate your out of state parenting time. Work with the custodial parent to develop a plan that minimizes the disruption to your child’s life. If you are considering moving out of state, make sure you discuss your relocation with the custodial parent as soon as you can. While the ideal situation is both parents live within a close proximity to each other, parents living in different states are more common than ever.

Also, rest assured your custody and parenting time order is still enforceable out of state. The protections of the court follow your child wherever he or she is. If you need help putting those protections in place, speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney for guidance. An attorney can help ensure your custody and parenting time order protects your child’s best interests.

Do you need to modify custody in New Jersey? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled divorce attorneys can help you navigate the modification process from start to finish. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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