Potential Solutions for Long-Distance Parenting / by Cassandra Hearn

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Parenting after a divorce or separation is never easy, no matter how friendly the terms between the parents.  Maintaining two separate households for children can be chaotic and brings a level of complication not previously experienced by the family.  This is only compounded when one of the parents lives far away from the children and the custodial parent.  When that parent lives far away, it is no longer possible to stop by after work to catch part of the child’s soccer game or help the other parent with last minute child care needs.  There are some solutions for long-distance parenting that will help parents stay more connected and help relieve some complications.

The parents first need to start with a practical, detailed, and thoughtful parenting plan.  Parents need to give special thought to work schedules and what is realistic.  Even if the child is too young for school now, that will not always be the case, and so the parents may want to go ahead and craft a parenting schedule that revolves around the school calendar in order to get that pattern established.  Parents should also give particular attention to travel costs.  Scheduling frequent air travel allows parents to see the child frequently, but this can really add up.  Having longer stretches of visitation with fewer actual flights is often a good middle ground.

The long-distance parent should not underrate the importance of the role of technology.  If a child is too young to use his or her own mobile device, scheduling specific Skype or Facetime contact can help maintain the bond even across hundreds of miles.  If the child is old enough for his or her own computer or phone, the parent can stay in direct contact through regular text messages and emails.  This will allow the parent to stay as part of the child’s everyday life even without physically being there.

Finally, the long-distance parent should do his or her best to remain involved with teachers and medical care providers, especially in the case of a child with extraordinary abilities or special needs.  Parents can schedule phone conferences with teachers and providers to make sure to stay in the loop on the child’s everyday needs.

Long-distance parenting can be difficult for both the parents and the children, but we are here to answer your questions. Contact us today at 619-800-0384 to discuss your long-distance parenting situation and what we can do to help you.