Creating a Realistic Long-Distance Parenting Plan

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 your child.
  • 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.
  • Steady Communication
    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.