In some cases, parents who have gotten divorced do not plan to live near each other. For instance, maybe you are going to remain at the Jersey Shore. Your ex, however, is going to move to New York City for work. You both want to share parenting time, which will be more logistically challenging than it would be if you lived down the street from one another.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to make an arrangement like this work. Below are three tips that you may benefit from keeping in mind.
Utilize virtual visitation
Parents can certainly still have contact with their children even when they don’t see them in person. Maybe your physical custody schedule will mean that you are not around your child for a week or more fairly regularly. You can still use text messaging, email messages, video chats, FaceTime, phone calls and other resources to interact with your child. Formalizing your communication arrangements as a virtual visitation schedule will help to solidify your rights and allow everyone to plan around this schedule.
Figure out a schedule that works for your family
Every custody situation is different. If you and your ex both want to be co-parents, that means you need to put your children first and figure out a schedule that will work for everyone. Parents who live closer together will often engage in midweek trades. But parents who live at a distance may change custody every week or every month, and some parents will even have a schedule where the child lives with one parent for the school year and the other parent for the summer. The best approach for your family will depends on things like the age of your child, where they go to school, what your own work schedules look like, etc.
Remain dedicated to communication
It’s easy to imagine that you may not want to communicate with your ex very often after your divorce has been finalized. However, as co-parents, you must remember that you have to be in close contact until the children are grown up. When you’re living at a distance, communication is critical. You’ll need to discuss the custody arrangement, changes in the children’s schedules, rules that each of you use, discipline methods, vacation schedules, holiday options and much more. When parents are willing to communicate often about their children, they can work together to give them the best possible post-divorce life.
These three tips can help, but this is still going to be a relatively complex situation. Be sure you are well aware of all the legal options at your disposal by seeking legal guidance whenever it may be helpful.