Can long-distance co-parenting work?

Divorced parents typically struggle to arrange a parenting schedule that’s best for their children. Determining a plan that co-parents can juggle makes matters even more difficult.

You might think living near each other is the only way to share the responsibilities of raising your children. However, you might be forced into a situation where you must ask yourself whether it’s possible to do so from afar. If so, how might you keep your relationships with your kids intact across the miles?

Proximity isn’t a requirement for relationships

Suppose your former spouse’s job requires moving across the country. Relocation could significantly affect your family dynamic.

However, sometimes a parent’s career choice provides a wealth of opportunities for the kids. If packing up is best for them, you may need to adapt.

So how can you stay involved in your children’s lives?

  • Petition for a child custody modification. You can maintain your parental rights; your time together might just take a different form. Instead of having the kids every other weekend, perhaps they can spend the summers with you. Using your vacation time to visit the kids in their new surroundings can allow you to visit their schools, meet their friends and share their local excitement.
  • There’s an app for that. Work with your ex to find a digital application designed for co-parenting that allows both parents to access pertinent information about your kids’ schedules, health care and school performance. Not only could this form of communication minimize contention between the two of you, but it can also keep you up to date on some of the daily challenges and successes in your kids’ lives.
  • Schedule regular chats. Technology allows you to talk to your kids face-to-face, personalizing your interaction. Depending on how old your children are, they might also enjoy sending and receiving text messages, filtered pictures or funny memes.

Technology is no substitute for spending quality time with your kids. But for many parents, digital tools are necessary for developing bonds with their kids and staying relevant in their children’s lives for the long term, even when living at a distance.