Is long-distance parenting possible?

Long-distance parenting can work if the focus stays on the children, the parents emphasize communication and the time spent together has quality.

There are a lot of reasons couples in Oregon may decide to end their marriage. The Oregon Health Authority states that there were over 9,000 divorces across the state in the span of a year. While there may be a great number of people going through a divorce, every situation is different. Some couples may have only been married for a short time while others may be ending a decade-long relationship. Some people may have kids to contend with while others are able to make a clean break.

When children are involved in a divorce, couples often have different priorities. Learning how to co-parent is a key piece to a successful post-divorce family unit. In some situations, one parent or the other may end up moving away after the marriage is over. Whether the person moves two towns over or into a different state, it is important for that parent to consider how the distance will affect the relationship that parent has with their children.

Focus on the children

No matter what the situation is after ending a marriage, the parents' focus should be on the children. This is especially true when there is going to be some distance between one of the parents and the children. Both the custodial and noncustodial parent needs to do what is best for the children in this trying situation. The two adults need to work together to create a parenting plan that nurtures a strong relationship even for the person who may not get to see the children every week.

Stay in touch

If one parent ends up moving to a different state for a new career, that parent needs to make sure communicating with the children is a top priority. In today's technologically advanced age, communication can happen over email, through texts or on social media. No matter how communication takes place, the parents need to keep things creative. A child may start to feel that a before-bed phone call is too predictable and meaningless. On the other hand, when a long-distance parent calls the kids at spontaneous times in addition to planned times, it can show the children that parent is always thinking of them.

Aim for quality

When quantity is not an option, spending quality time together is vital. A long-distance parent can aim for quality when spending in-person time together, even when communicating over the phone. For example, a parent should learn about theater if the child has expressed an interest in it. This will allow the two of them to have in-depth conversations about the child's hobbies. When spending time together, this parent and child duo could go watch a play to bring that discussion to life.

Not all Oregon families will stay geographically close after a divorce. Regardless of the unique situation, couples should consider working with a knowledgeable lawyer when going through a divorce.