Co-Parenting Across State Lines
Co-parenting can be tough, even when both parents live in the same city. Child custody gets more complicated when one parent moves out of state. Even after seeing a divorce lawyer in NYC to modify the custody order, long-distance co-parenting can add a new layer of complication.
If you’re in this situation, you’re probably wondering how you can possibly co-parent when the other adult is states or hours away from you.
Whether you’re the one who is staying in place or relocating, it’s important to be aware that there are ways to accommodate a long-distance situation for the benefit of the kids. This article will delve into some ideas that might help smooth things over after the child custody battle has been settled.
Thoughts for the Parent Staying Behind
Finding out that your ex is relocating and taking the children far away can bring up many emotions. You may feel upset, frustrated, or even angry. After all, in most cases, you’ve spent several years living within close distance of your children. You may have picked them up at school throughout the week, gone to all their games and concerts, and seen them on birthdays and holidays.
You were able to stay up to date on the children’s lives since doctors’ appointments and parent-teacher conferences were right down the street. Plus, you could get in some great bonding time on the weekends when work and school weren’t in the way.
Even though the child custody battle is over, there’s more planning to do. When your children live far away, major considerations will need to go into spending time with them. The new child custody schedule may give you a longer chunk of time with the kids, such as a month or two in the summer.
While you’re probably looking forward to this time, it can’t come soon enough. When the kids are out of state, you might be wondering what you can do to keep up with their day-to-day lives.
Staying Involved Across State Lines
There’s no reason to give up just yet. While your kids might not be physically close, that doesn’t mean you can’t check up on them and be a great parent. There are all sorts of ways to show that you care about them and what they’re up to in the new state. A few options include:
- Sending cards or care packages in the mail when the child is having a hard time or on special occasions
- Connecting virtually to help with homework and class projects
- Playing online games together or watching the same television shows from a distance
- Talking to the kids regularly, hearing about their activities, asking questions, and learning about new people in their lives
- Utilizing a shared online calendar with the kids and the other parent
- Sending emails and text messages
- Moving to Skype or Facetime for video calls instead of traditional phone calls
Thankfully, modern technology makes it much easier to stay in touch than in the past. Most kids use this technology with their friends and will be happy to connect with you in the same way.
What to Do as the Leaving Parent
You’ve dealt with the child custody process and now you’re relocating to a new place with the kids in tow. You have a lot going on between getting things packed and unpacked, learning the ins and outs of a new place, figuring out a new job, meeting friends and neighbors, and getting the kids into a new school.
Another part of the process is determining the best way to co-parent with an ex when the two of you are states or many miles away. Any divorce lawyer in NYC will tell you that it’s essential to keep your relationship up with the other parent and your children. The children may be upset by all the stress in their lives and being away from the second parent can only make that more frustrating.
Keeping the Other Parent in the Loop
It’s important to stick to the child custody agreement in terms of having the kids visit their other parent. However, there are other methods to help keep a positive relationship going. Help your child stay connected with some of the methods below:
- Update the other parent about all the events the kids are taking part in
- Recommend your child maintains regular contact with the other parent
- Support the other parent in staying in touch with the children
Putting in a bit of effort is essential to make long-distance parenting work. If you’re in the process of relocating (or the other parent is), it’s critical to work with a divorce lawyer in NYC to hash things out properly. Once that’s taken care of, put in the work to ensure the children have access to both parents, even if one of them is a bit farther away than in the past.
To schedule a consultation with one of our experienced New York child custody lawyers, call us today at 1-800-DIVORCE or get in touch with us online by filling out this contact form.