Long-distance parenting seems to hold huge challenges for both parents and children, but with good communication and the right plan, it can work for the benefit of your children, and without compromising your own life situation.
Here are the aspects you need to include in your long-distance parenting plan:
As with any conventional parenting plan, one of the first things to settle is where the children will reside and when they visit the other parent. You and your former spouse will need to agree on the frequency of the visitations and what will be done during holidays or vacations.
Communicating with the Long-Distance Parent
It’s in the best interest of your child to ensure that they communicate regularly with the long-distance parent, as long as there are no reasons to restrict that spouse’s parenting rights. A settled method of getting in touch with them, and how often that will happen needs to be included in your parenting plan and also established if these conversations will be monitored or not.
Traveling by Airplane Information
When the child will travel to see the other parent, it’s necessary to have all the transportation details already put in place. These include the agreed airports that they will fly in and out of, who will accompany the child until they are ready to travel by themselves, establishing the necessary communication between the parents when the plane or train tickets are bought (and by whom) and when the pick-ups will be done.
It’s important to ensure that both parents are aware of the traveling details and keep each other informed every step of the way.
If the distance between the parents can be covered by driving, they will also need to establish the transportation details, just like when the child is flying to the other parent. Similar details need to be discussed: who is allowed to drive the child to the meeting place, how the driving costs will be split between the two parents, where would the parents meet if they decide to drive half-way, etc.
Parent Visitation Details
Sometimes, it’s easier for the children if the other parent travels to visit them. If you decide that this option would be best for everyone, set up the ground rules for parent visitations: where will the children spend the night, where will the other parent stay, how will the costs be divided.
Speak With a Family Law Attorney
Long-distance parenting is a reality for many couples, with the increased mobility of the workforce and due to numerous other reasons that may appear in someone’s life. If you are in this situation, only communication and planning can make things work best. Speak with an experienced St. Louis divorce attorney to ensure your rights and the best interests of your children are protected.