Some divorcing parents in Missouri may find themselves in a long-distance co-parenting relationship. The demands of family illness, employment and other issues may mean that one parent has good reason to move far away from the other. Still, it is critical not to allow physical distance to interfere with a close parent-child relationship. There are several steps that long-distance parents can take to keep their relationships with their children warm, healthy and loving.
Kids might worry that they are being rejected by a parent after the divorce if the parent moves out and goes far away. It is more common for fathers to live at a distance from their children, but all parents will benefit from paying close attention to how they can foster closeness despite the geographical separation. Online communication, social media and video chats are great for parents and children living at a distance with one another. Regular calls, check-ins and texts help to keep up the day-to-day communication that deepens the parent-child bond even across great distances.
During these conversations, there are things parents can do to emphasize how much they care. Asking about children’s friends, hobbies and interests means that a parent is up to date on the important things in a child’s life. When long-distance parents do see their kids in person, it can be a good idea to meet those friends or their parents. It can also be helpful to spend time alone with the children rather than leaving them with a new partner or stepparent.
Distance and divorce can undermine a close relationship, but dedicated attention can keep the parent-child bond strong across the miles. A family law attorney may help a divorcing spouse to reach a fair agreement on child custody matters and develop a workable parenting plan.