If you have children with your ex-spouse and live a distance from each
other, establishing a workable parenting plan is likely one of the most
important issues you will negotiate in your case.
When it comes to co-parenting, protecting the best interest of your child
is vital. In fact, the court will not make a decision based on your interests
or the wishes of your spouse – only the best interests of your child.
Tips for creating an effective co-parenting plan:
Maintain Regular Visits
A good parenting plan involves contact with both parents. Ideally, visitations
occur at least once per month, if not more. This may not be realistic
for all families, but studies indicate that frequent and consistent contact
with both parents can facilitate self-esteem and a sense of security for
Utilize School Breaks and Holidays
Even if your parenting plan includes monthly contact with the non-residential
parent, your child will spend significantly more time with one parent
than the other. Holidays and school vacations allow the child to spend
extended time with the non-residential parent.
Long-distance parenting relationships may not allow your child to spend
time with the non-residential parent, but consistent communication can
help the child maintain a close relationship with both parents. This includes
phone calls, letters, video chats, and other forms of communication.
Planning Ahead for Travel Arrangements
Long-distance parental relationships require traveling. This typically
includes car or air travel. If your child will travel by air, arrange
for an adult to be with him / her at the airport. Additionally, work with
your ex-spouse to determine which airports your child will use, and who
will pick him / her up.
If your parenting plan involves travel by vehicle, specify which parent
is obligated to bring the child to his / her destination. Payment for
travel expenses should be addressed in your child support order as well.
Working with a Child Custody Attorney
At McKinley Irvin, our Oregon child custody and family law attorneys are
here to help clients like you protect their rights and families. If you
need to create an effective long-distance parenting plan for your child,
schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team today.