The stakes can seem much higher when you are responsible for co-parenting children in separate states.
The choices that you make as a parent and your ability to cooperate with the other parent can be extremely successful for minimizing drama and allowing the best possible situation for the children as well. What follows are several top recommendations for successful co-parenting.
Make Use of Technology
It should be easy to use technological and internet based features that are often free or relatively inexpensive to obtain. FaceTime and Skype are extremely beneficial for long distance parents who may want to be able to check in and see their children. This goes one step beyond a regular telephone call to enable you to see your children while you’re talking to them. You can have more meaningful conversations when you utilize technology in this manner. Furthermore, texts, emails and online shared calendars can be extremely beneficial.
Assist with Homework
You may be able to successfully co-parent by utilizing the technology mentioned above to assist with homework. There’s no rule that says you’re not able to help your child with the homework if you’re not in the same room.
An increasing number of schools are already using the internet for assignments as well as keeping in touch with parents so there’s no reason that you can’t help your child with homework even if you live inside another state. Encourage your child to make use of FaceTime if they have a question and keep up with their activities at the school’s internet portal.
Use Care Packages
Children love to receive mail and you can capitalize on the fact that you are in a different state by sending them care packages. Memories of the time you have had together as well as reminders of home can help make things easier and will cheer them up. Sending a themed care package every once in a while can even be done easily online.
Co-parenting successfully means that you need to be clear about the after school activities for the children as well as their friends and any other relevant adults. This will help conversations between you and the other parent to communicate more effectively but it will also allow you to be involved in your own children’s lives as well.
Asking open-ended questions of your children is strongly recommended whereas basic short answer questions may be more appropriate for speaking with the other parent.
Avoid Talking Negatively About Your Former Partner
Bear in mind that there is nothing beneficial to be added to the relationship between you and the other parent or you and your children by speaking negatively about the other parent and his or her struggles in life. Recognize that everyone will go through various challenges and although you may have your own emotional issues associated with the other parent, you should keep talking about these to a minimum around the children.
Share Schedules Digitally and in Advance
One of the best ways to successfully co-parent across different states is to make use of an online calendar. A calendar on a website or an application allows you to enter in each event easily so that parents can make plans for major events such as a graduation or sporting tournaments.
It may not be possible for the other parent to attend each of these events, however, he or she may want to keep up to date with what the kids are doing every day or every week by sharing all of the events. This allows your children and the other parent to stay better connected and also helps to establish good guidelines for cooperation between you and that parent.
Contact a Fresno and San Diego Family Law Attorney
The Law Office Of Rebecca Medina serves Fresno, Clovis, and Madera California, along with surrounding cities in the area. Contact us today for your family law needs including divorce, child custody, child support, mediation, spousal support, and judgment modifications.