In a perfect world, couples that share children and are divorced or separated would remain living close to each other. Living in different homes is difficult enough for kids, let alone a completely different state. Despite this, life happens, and life sometimes takes one or both parents away. Do you and your ex share custody of your children, but one of you is moving to another state? Thankfully there are methods and practices to make co-parenting work.
Read more below about how to be a successful co-parent when your children live miles away.
Make a Plan and Stick With It
Kids thrive when their lives are consistent and predictable. Consistency develops a predictable routine and momentum for children. Creating a visitation plan or schedule is an important first step. Early on, kids learn how to trust and distrust. By keeping visitations regular and consistent, you can nurture your relationship with your child and build the trust that comes with it. Of course, being physically present is not always possible (especially when living in a different state), so it is essential to keep an open communication line.
Use Technology to Your Benefit
With today’s technology, communicating with one another is easier than ever. It is literally at your fingertips. Depending on your agreements and arrangements, talk with your children as often as possible — do not let an opportunity pass. If your kids have a phone, text them every day or two. Send them pictures of your life or things that will make them smile. If you live away from your kids, you might find yourself working overtime to stay in their life, and technology allows you to do just that. Set time aside for phone calls, video chats, and other long-distance get-together methods and follow through every time.
The Little Things that Count
Unfortunately, living away from your kids means you will inevitably miss significant milestones or moments in their lives. This means you will need to make an extra effort for your children to feel your love. When something big happens in their lives, ask them about it. Ask them how their first day of school was, ask them to send a video of their dance recital, or ask them about their big school project. Periodically send hand-written letters or small gifts. It truly is the little things that count, especially for kids.
When you are together, make sure to take advantage of your in-person time. Learn your child’s love language and make sure to “speak” to them in their language. If they thrive on quality time spent together, put your phone and any other distractions away and focus on your kids. If they feel love through words, make sure to tell them often how you feel and other important things. If you do not know how they feel loved, ask them.
Contact The Ault Firm
Changes in life are inevitable. It is expected that you, your ex-spouse, and your children will experience significant changes in life. If you or your former spouse are unable to meet your current child custody arrangements due to life changes and are in the Salt Lake City or West Jordan, UT area, it is time to contact The Ault Firm. Our team of professionals is experienced in family law and modifying custody arrangements. If you need a knowledgeable custody modifications attorney, schedule a consultation with The Ault Firm today.