Tips For Long-Distance Co-Parenting In Florida
In an ideal world, parents would live close enough to each other after a divorce that children have an easy time transitioning between households for the parenting schedule. Due to employment, family commitments, or other personal reasons, parents could live several hours and/or a plane ride apart. This creates challenges for when trying to create a timesharing schedule that facilitates a good relationship with the other parent, creates meaningful time with that parent and being bound by the schedule that school age children have to abide by. As if those challenges were not enough, the schedule has to be financially manageable by the parties.
These challenges are manageable with a well-crafted parenting plan that accounts for distance, along with commitment from co-parents to make the schedule work. In general, greater distance could mean each parent will have longer stretches of time with the child. It is wise to seek guidance from a Dade City child custody attorney when discussing time-sharing for long-distance, as the child’s best interests will be paramount. Some tips are also useful.
- Create a Schedule for Phone Calls: The most effective way to stay in touch when your child is with your co-parent is the phone, and there are fortunately many options for making this easy. You can take advantage of Zoom, Facetime, and other teleconferencing tools to get both audio and visual. The ability to see and hear your child is the closest thing to actually being there.
- Use Apps to Coordinate Schedules: When there are many miles between you, there cannot be any mistakes or oversights with the parenting schedule. Again, technology can support your needs, with calendars that parents can sync so that they never miss an appointment or event.
- Respect Boundaries: With a long-distance custody arrangement, your child might be away for several days or weeks at a time. While you want to know all the day-to-day details, you should also understand that constant communications can be disruptive. Children have busy schedules, so keep their boundaries in mind.
- Make Fun Surprises: You do not have to do anything extravagant to make a loving impression on children and let them know you are thinking about them. Mail a card for unusual holidays, send a good luck text before a test, or forward a “Dad” joke. When you are apart on holidays, create new traditions that work for long-distance co-parenting. You can do Christmas trivia or a pumpkin-decorating contest via video app.
- Be Emotionally Available: Distance does not matter when it comes to being there for your child. You could be on the phone or in the same room, but ask about their lives, their feelings, what activities they are excited about right now. Supporting your child in this way is more than just food, shelter, and clothing.
Most importantly, don’t wait for your children to contact you. Reach out to them regularly in big and little ways.
Count on a Pasco County Child Custody Lawyer for Guidance
These tips are useful, but they work best when you have a solid co-parenting and time-sharing arrangement as a foundation. For more information on child custody in Florida, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City, FL. You can schedule a consultation by calling 352-567-0055 or going online.