Child custody cases can include extreme circumstances. This can include parents who aren’t living close to their children. These long distance relationships can be challenging for everyone involved, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be successful or that they won’t be filled with love.
You, your child and your ex all have to try to find ways to make the situation the best it can be. Thinking about the needs of your children has to remain a priority. Here are some tips to help you find out what works for you:
Set the visitation plan
Your child custody plan needs to have a visitation schedule. It might not be possible for you to include dates but you can include stipulations like “first Monday after school ends” as the starting date for you to have your children for summer vacation.
Compromise is necessary
You have to be willing to change things up a bit if necessary. This might be the case if there is a special event. For example, if your ex wants to take the child on vacation to attend a family member’s wedding, that might take precedence over the child coming to you. Coming up with an alternate schedule can benefit everyone, especially the children who will get to make fun memories with both parents.
Discuss travel plans
Getting the child from one parent to the other can be difficult in long-distance situations. While some children might be able to fly alone or with an airline escort, some parents might not be comfortable with that. Discuss whether the child needs a parent to go with them and who is going to pay for the travel. In some instances, driving might be possible.
Stay in touch between visits
Find ways to stay in touch with your child between visits. Video chats, emails, phone calls, texts or online messaging services might all help. Get creative with how you use your time. A video chat, for example, is a great time for you to help a child with homework or to read a bedtime story.
The terms of these virtual visits should be included in the child custody agreement. One important point to include is that the interactions won’t be censored by the parent who is physically with the child at the time.