Can a mother/father request joint custody or any custody of a child when they live in a different states?

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Can a mother/father request joint custody or any custody of a child when they live in a different states?

My daughter its 18 months and she lives with me. Her dad lives out of state. We have never lived together. My daughter had always lived with me under my supervision but he does pay child support. Out of nowhere he says he wants joint custody so that he can come and get her as he pleases. Can a person from a different state get joint custody or does he have to be a resident of the same state where the child is living?

Asked on April 16, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Custody has nothing at all to do with where you live.  Visitation may though.  I am going to assume here that you wre never married correct?  Then under he law you are the child's sol guardian and have sole custody.  Once he establishes paternity in some way though he is entitled to custody and visiation of his daughter.  One parent is generally the "custodial parent" meaning that the child lives with them most of the time.  The other parent has a vistiation schedule.  Now that is different from "joint custody" which is a right of both parents to make decisions like schooling, child care, etc.  I would speak with an attorney in your area on this sooner rather than later.  There are limitations that can be placed on the situation especially given her age.  Good luck.


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