Tips to make long-distance co-parenting successful

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2023 | Uncategorized

Long-distance co-parenting can present unique challenges for families. When parents live far apart, communication, planning and commitment to shared parenting responsibilities become even more critical. Whether the distance is due to a job relocation, military deployment, divorce or other circumstances, long-distance co-parenting requires extra effort and adaptability.

For military members, long-distance co-parenting often involves deployments to different locations or extended training periods. The unpredictability and frequent changes inherent in military life can complicate co-parenting arrangements. However, long-distance co-parenting can be successful with the right approach and tools.

Emphasize open and consistent communication

Long-distance co-parenting relies heavily on regular communication between parents and children. Technology like video calls, emails and messaging apps can help maintain a close connection. Regularly scheduled calls or video chats can give the children a sense of routine and stability.

Create a detailed parenting plan

For families in which parents are no longer romantically linked, a well-thought-out parenting plan that includes parenting time schedules, decision-making protocols and dispute-resolution methods can be valuable. The plan should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in circumstances but detailed enough to provide clear guidelines.

Consider the children’s needs and feelings

Long-distance co-parenting can be challenging for children as they adjust to living far from one parent. Acknowledging their feelings, keeping them informed about plans, and providing ways to communicate directly with the distant parent can help ease the transition.

Special considerations for military members

The unpredictable nature of deployments and relocations can create unique challenges for military members engaged in long-distance co-parenting. Communicating upcoming changes as early as possible, creating contingency plans and seeking support from military family resources can be helpful.

Encourage strong relationships with both parents

A relationship with a child’s (fit) distant parent is vital for the child’s emotional well-being. Encouraging regular communication, sharing photos and updates and involving the other parent in significant decisions and events can help maintain this connection.

In the event of divorce or a non-marital split, virtual visits and in-person parenting time should all be outlined in a family’s parenting plan. They should be planned with the child’s routine and emotional needs in mind. Communication should be regular enough to maintain a relationship and considerate of the child’s schedule and other commitments.