It’s not bad enough that you and your spouse have divorced and you have moved out of your home. Now, you find out that your former wife is moving out of the state. How can you successfully co-parent long-distance?
Long distance parenting is probably one of the most difficult challenges facing a divorced parent. However, today it happens often. Did you know that the average family changes homes every five years? Some move more often.
Long-distance parenting happens for many reasons, such as:
- A new job
- A job transfer
- A new marriage or relationship
- Moving closer to family for support
- To get away from a former spouse
Co-parenting can be especially difficult especially if one of you still harbors ill-will about the divorce. A long-distance move can present consequences not only for you, but for your child. Children rely on their parents as the ‘go-to’ person for decisions, problems, advice or just a kiss and hug.
The following are a few tips that may prove to be helpful:
- Communication – This might be something you find hard to do and maybe just a little bit painful, but it is necessary to be a great co-parent. If you find it difficult to talk on the phone, use e-mails for regular updates.
- Never use your child as a go-between or messenger – Don’t make your child part of the co-parenting process or an ongoing disagreement. If you have something to say to your ex, say it directly to him or her.
- Stay positive – This is not about you or your ex; it’s about raising a healthy, happy, confident and successful child. Learn to put your own issues aside, along with any anger that is brewing.
As a long-distance parent, you must maintain your relationship with your child as if you were still by his or her side every day.
- Remain interested and involved in your child’s life no matter how far you are from him or her
- Initiate contact on a regular basis whether by telephone, e-mail or texting
- Avoid asking questions that result in a yes or no answer – get details
- Don’t bad-mouth your former spouse with your child
- Always maintain a positive attitude
- Stay in good contact with your child’s other parent and respect their rules
At the Orange County family law offices of Amy M. Montes, we represent many parents trying to prevent their child from relocating to another city or state, and having to experience “the long-distance parental relationship”.
Call us today to discuss your options and protect your legal rights as a parent.