Parents can’t always remain in the same city after they divorce. Changes with jobs and other events can sometimes pull one parent away from where their children reside with the other parent. When this happens, there might be a need for some alternate parenting schedules because the travel between homes is considerable.
The goal of the parenting time schedule is to let the child and distant parent build a relationship without introducing too much stress. This can prove to be a challenge, but parents will often find a solution that puts the best interests of their children at the heart of the matter.
Parenting time needs
While it is understandable that each parent will want as much time with the children as possible, this isn’t always going to be equal time unless the distant parent is willing and able to travel often to the children’s hometown.
Young children likely won’t be able to leave their primary caregiver for long. Even as toddlers, being gone more than a night or two might cause them distress. As the children get older, they will likely be able to remain with the distant parent for longer periods.
Sometimes, extracurricular activities might make the visits a challenge. Children who are involved in things like sports, band or theater might not have the long vacation options that other kids would have. Working around these can be a challenge.
Child custody agreements are enforced under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act, which sets specific standards for what court presides over the case. This is usually the jurisdiction where the original child custody case was heard, but it’s possible that it can move to the current jurisdiction of the child’s primary home.
It’s imperative that any parent who has a child dealing with a long-distance parent situation works to foster the relationship between that child and the distant parent. This may require them to use methods like virtual visits, and the way that the parenting time schedule is handled might need to be modified as the child matures. Being willing to do this to keep the child’s best interests as the focal point is critical.