Divorce can be more complicated when there is a child involved. In some more contentious cases, custody can turn into a battle. The two divorcing parties may do whatever they can to get physical custody even if their actions amount to parental kidnapping across state lines.

The laws that govern interstate child custody, visitation and child support orders across state lines are called the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) and the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). The purpose of these laws is to make sure that child support and custody orders can be enforced across state lines. The UCCJEA gives one state, like Tennessee, the authority to decide the family’s custody dispute, and all other states must the enforce Tennessee’s orders.

The state where the child lived for six months before the custody dispute becomes the “home state,” or “decree state.” Most of the time, only the decree state may change the order as long as one of the parents continues to live in that state.

Creating an interstate custody schedule

The custody schedule is part of the parenting plan that the both parents put together as part of the divorce settlement. If one parent moves to another state after the divorce, and the original custody order is being modified, you’ll have to create a new schedule.

Taking both parents’ work schedules and school holiday schedules into consideration, each party must come to an agreement on the schedule. The parenting time schedule is vital because it is the goal of the court that the child have the opportunity to develop healthy, bonded relationships with both parents.

There are online scheduling apps that can help parents put together a custody schedule that takes into consideration their child’s age, school, work and vacation schedules along with the state’s guidelines to develop a plan that works for all concerned.

What if both parties don’t agree?

Between the two co-parents, if they can’t agree on a fair visitation schedule, the court will decide one for them that is in the best interest of the child.

Deciding child custody issues has always been and will most likely always be a challenging task. Working with an experienced Nashville family law attorney who has helped countless families can save you a lot of frustration.

If you are dealing with a child custody or divorce dispute, our firm can help you move forward. Please contact Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC for more information.