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How to make long-distance co-parenting work

Divorce can push people to search for a change of scenery to leave the past behind and embrace the journey ahead. Some accept new job opportunities, such as out-of-state promotions and international transfers. Others take on overseas military deployment or training. Still, there are those who find new love and remarry in another state.

While these reasons are understandable, ex-couples must also remember to fulfill their co-parenting duties regardless of distance.                                                                                                                         

Co-parenting across distance is a give-and-take relationship

Indiana’s parenting time guidelines recognize that geographical distance is a significant factor that requires thorough consideration. Parents must agree on reasonable arrangements despite the distance to protect the child’s best interests.

Thus, long-distance co-parenting work can work if ex-couples:

  • Explore communication methods: Besides regular text messages and phone calls, technological tools, such as video calls and shared calendars, can make regular updates more feasible. They allow more convenient ways of tracking or monitoring parenting time schedules to promote transparency in case of changes.
  • Coordinate logistical concerns: Smooth transitions from one household to the next entail a proper relay of information about call times and drop-off points. The trips may also incur transportation costs, so budgeting is crucial.
  • Anticipate disputes: Resolving conflicts without physical cues or nuances can be tough. But if both parties are willing to negotiate, they can prevent issues from escalating any further.

These strategies may vary based on the child’s age and special needs. For instance, a vulnerable toddler may need longer hours for a parent to care for them over a teenage child who has always craved independence and their own privacy.

Distance does not have to equate to disconnection

Growing up in separate parental households does not have to disrupt the connection between the child and their divorced parents. Parents can bridge the distance by uniting their efforts as a team. By openly making compromises under the guidance and support of their legal advocates, they can build healthy parent-child relationships no matter where they are in the world.