Many divorced people end up being long-distance parents, at least for a time. Whether your long-distance situation is necessary because of your job or other commitments or you were unable to prevent your co-parent from moving away with your child, it's crucial to make the best of it.
Codifying your parenting rights in your custody agreement and parenting plan can help you remain part of your child's life even from a distance. It can also help minimize conflict and confusion that will only harm your child. Let's look at some key elements of successful long-distance parenting.
Thanks to video conferencing apps, you can see and talk with your child every day. Virtual visitation can also include texting, talking on the phone, emailing, playing online games and more. You can even take advantage of file sharing and cloud services to look at your child's homework and other school projects. This is easier with older children who can manage their devices without much help. However, if your child is young, it's important for your co-parent to honor your agreement by helping them log on and connect with you.
Adhere to the schedule
Predictability and consistency are extremely important for children after their parents break up. Create a schedule with your co-parent and make sure your child has a copy. If you have to vary from it due to travel or maybe your child's or co-parent's commitments, be sure to reschedule your visit as soon as possible or replace a video chat with some texts. The important thing is to stay in touch.
Prioritize in-person visitation time
If you live too far away to be with your child on any sort of regular basis, you should be able to get some lengthy visitation time over school breaks. That could mean that your child comes to stay with you or that you travel to spend some time with them. These visits should typically be scheduled as you create your parenting agreements.
It takes the cooperation of both parents to make a long-distance parenting plan work. If your co-parent is interfering with your parenting rights, it's wise to find out what legal options you have to protect your relationship with your child.