In a perfect world, after a divorce involving children, both parents live close to one another. However, this isn’t always possible. Things like military duty, a job relocation or simply a move across state lines can happen. The good news is that it is possible to parent across state lines. The most important thing is that both parents are willing to work together to make long-distance parenting work. Here are 6 tips from leading Utah divorce lawyers at Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law.
1. Keep Each Other In The Loop
Communication is important when it comes to long-distance parenting. Make sure you keep the other parent in the loop about things going in your kids’ lives. You can use a family calendar app, such as the Cozi Family Organizer app to share important events in your kids’ lives. That way, if there is something important going on, the other parent can know about it and plan to be available.
2. Share Achievements
Did your child do something important today? Maybe she made the honor roll or scored a field goal. Make sure you share all of your child’s achievements with your ex. You could take a picture of any medals or awards and send it to your ex-spouse.
3. Use Technology To Communicate
Skype, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and Facetime are all great tools for long-distance co-parenting. They allow you and your kids to communicate with your ex-spouse from anywhere in the world. If your kid or kids are not old enough, then you will have to initiate communications with your ex-spouse. However, if your kids are pre-teens or teenagers, they can initiate contact on their own. In either case, it is very helpful to schedule regular video chats.
4. Work As A Team
Teamwork is important in any co-parenting arrangement. You and your ex-spouse should discuss and work together to make things consistent for your kids. For example, you should agree on things like the use of technology and curfews. Both parents should enforce whatever decisions have been made together.
5. Find An Arrangement That Works
With a traditional visitation schedule, one parent might get the kid or kids every other weekend. Or, the child might stay with one parent one week and the other parent the next week. If you live far apart, these types of arrangements won’t work.
So, work with the other parent to come up with an arrangement that will be doable. That might mean that the kids stay at one parent’s house when school is in session and spends breaks with the other parent.
6. Don’t Badmouth The Other Parent
If your ex-spouse forgets to call your child or misses an important event, resist the urge to criticize the other parent.
- Make excuses for them.
- Vent your anger about the other parent to your child.
- Call your ex-spouse and cuss them out.
- Be sympathetic to your child
- Ask how your child feels.
- Encourage them to express their feelings to mom and dad.
It is important for both parents to remain in their kids’ lives — even if the parents live far apart. Doing everything that you can to work with the other parent will help ensure successful long-distance co-parenting. The above tips will help you co-parent successfully even from across state lines.
Contact Salt Lake City, Utah Divorce Attorneys for a FREE Case Evaluation
For help on child custody issues in Salt Lake City, Utah, contact Wall & Wall Attorneys at Law. As divorce and family law attorneys in SLC, UT, we can answer any questions that you might have about child custody.