As we discussed in our last article, long-distance child visitations can be hard on everyone, including both parents and all children involved. The trips can be long, complicated, and expensive. The child may feel pulled in too many directions. The parents can feel like they aren’t getting enough time with their families. However, sometimes, long-distance visitations are the best choice for everyone, and sometimes, we have to find creative and thoughtful solutions to the problems that can come when parents divorce and move away. Here are our best tips:
- Schedule virtual visits. One of the biggest problems with long-distance child custody visits is that they are more sporadic but tend to last longer—two issues that leave both parents missing their kids. Take advantage of today’s technology by scheduling video chats, sending text messages, and sending digital pictures.
- Create your own traditions. Transitions can be difficult for kids, especially if visits aren’t regular and lots of travel is involved. Consider starting fun rituals or traditions—like taking your child out the night before a long-distance visit or giving them something special to open during the long ride. Creating new traditions will add routine and security to what can be difficult trips for kids.
- Create consistency for your kids. Communicate with your ex about what your child expects and needs. If possible, have the same household rules (such as bedtimes) in both places, as well as the same routines (eating dinner together, watching cartoons on Sunday morning, making breakfast as a family, etc.).
- Listen to your child’s needs. If your child is old enough, get input from him about his wants and needs. Encourage him to share his feelings and make suggestions. Even if your child isn’t old enough to communicate, you might be able to glean whether or not they are benefiting from these long-distance trips by their demeanor. Just as the courts did, try to make decisions regarding long-distance child visitations based on the best interests of your child.
Do you need legal help regarding child custody, child visitation, or parenting plans? The Bellevue child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny have the credentials and experience to help. Call us today at 425-460-0550.