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Succeeding as a long-distance parent

Oftentimes, the divorced parents who come to see us here at Epperson Law PLLC find that arranging an acceptable custody agreement is much easier than getting their kids accustomed to them living apart. Even after divorce, it’s recommended that divorced parents continue to live near each other. Study results published in the Journal of Family Psychology and shared by the American Psychological Association showed that of study participants who were children of divorce, those whose noncustodial parents had moved away were significantly more likely to struggle with issues such as:

  • Poor interpersonal relations
  • More difficulty coping with their parents’ divorces
  • Strained relationships with both parents

Yet if changes in employment or other circumstances do force a parent to move, there are ways to continue to foster a loving relationship with his or her children.

First and foremost, both parents need to be committed to making the long-distance parenting relationship work. Differences between both sides should be set aside for the best interest of the children. Custodial parents should remind the children to constantly reach out to their other parent through email or social media, or via text. Relocated parents should schedule designated times for frequent contact with their kids, whether it be daily or weekly. That said, they also must be prepared to talk with their children whenever the occasion arises, such as those instances where one of them needs extra emotional support.

It’s also important that relocated parents not allow the added distance between themselves and their children to disrupt them from being an active part of their lives. They should insist to continue to be involved in any and all important decisions, such as those related to their children’s education, health care, and religious upbringing.

For more information on dealing with parental relocation, visit our Child Custody page.