4 Tips for Long-Distance Co-parenting Success

Consult Your Parenting Plan and Professionals

A significant change like this calls for an amendment to the parenting plan.  Enlist the help of your legal counsel, financial advisor, mental health professional, and your children’s teachers and school counselor to help you strategize and adjust. They’ll help you adequately document and acclimate to this shift on all levels.

Good Faith Efforts

A “good faith effort” is a sincere intention to deal fairly with others. Despite your feelings about one another, neither should undermine the other’s attempts at communicating and maintaining the parent/child relationship.

Good Faith Efforts (Part 2)

Encourage communication via phone, video calls, texts, emails, and physical mail.  Avoid interrupting their time together or having your child play messenger. Discuss how to fairly split transportation costs with your co-parent and mediator.

Adopt Technology

In addition to virtual chat options, did you know there are apps specifically designed with the divorced family in mind?

Adopt Technology (Part 2)

Divorced family apps like joint custody and child support apps help you do everything, from scheduling pick-ups and drop-offs to paying shared expenses. Others have calendar functions to create and share schedules from one household to another–set up chat times in advance (and receive reminders) instead of waiting for a convenient time.

Connection Suggestions

Finally,  you may be wondering how to keep conversations flowing. Here are some tips:

Connection Suggestions  (Part 2)

• Send physical mail like cards, notes, pictures, and care packages that are just for fun and not tied to a holiday or birthday. Kids love receiving mail with their name on them. • Participate in a shared activity like watching a movie or television show, reading a book, or playing a game while you chat (video, computer, or board games).

Connection Suggestions  (Part 3)

• Write down the names of friends and teachers they mention so you can ask about them in later conversations. • Schedule time to help with homework outside of regularly scheduled calls. For more details on the tips mentioned, refer to the full article.

Connection Suggestions  (Part 4)

Remember that consistency is key. It may not come easily to your child initially, but with time, patience, and practice, they’ll start to open up.  An adjustment period is normal and expected.

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