Co-parenting is a difficult arrangement for many people. The situation becomes even more complex if one parent won’t live close to the child. Setting up the terms for a long-distance parenting relationship is necessary.
There are several things that are necessary to make this type of situation work. Think about these points as you prepare the parenting plan:
Set communication standards
Communication between parents and between the child with each parent is important. The adults should communicate directly in a respectful manner. The child should be free to communicate with both parents when they want. Long-distance situations can benefit from virtual visits, such as video chats or phone calls, so plan for those.
Write out a parenting time schedule
The parenting time schedule is important because it lets the children know when they’ll get to spend time with each parent. In long-distance cases, you’ll have to realistically look at the schedule to determine what’s possible. Think about travel time and how the travel may affect the children as you’re making the parenting time schedule.
Make note of responsibilities
You and your ex will each have specific responsibilities when it comes to the children. Raising them is a team effort, so you have to be sure that you and your ex are each doing your part to help the children thrive despite your divorce.
Establishing the parenting plan to govern how the children are raised is a priority, especially when one parent doesn’t live close to the child. Long-distance parenting requires special efforts, so you should include information about how to make the parent-child relationship work. Making sure you have someone on your side who understands what it takes for these situations to work can help you to reduce your stress level.