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Weighing options for long distance parenting after divorce

There's typically no steadfast rule regarding where you choose to live after divorce, unless extenuating circumstances prompt the court to issue such an order. Many Virginia residents who divorce choose to live within driving distance of their former spouses if they have children together. This type of arrangement simplifies the shared custody and/or visitation process. Most parents want to cooperate and act within the best interests of their children; choosing to reside in an area that allows children easy access to both parents is a good idea for those who wish to avoid problems.

Divorce itself is evidence that unexpected (or even anticipated) changes often occur in life. The same goes for life after divorce. You might have an opportunity to accept a better-paying job but it might mean you'd have to move across the country or to some other distant place. You might simply decide that living close to your former spouse isn't what you thought it would be and you need a bit more distance between your two homes.

Potential issues for long distance parent/child relationships

Whether you are the parent moving far away with your children or the one staying put while your former spouse takes your children to a new and distant place, you may notice some of the following changes regarding the way your children relate to both of you:

  • Children's relationships with a long distance parent may seem a bit more structured that it used to be. This really can't be helped since in-person visiting will likely take a lot of planning and scheduling.
  • Children may begin to rely on electronics a lot more to communicate with their long-distance parent.
  • Children may express feelings of disappointment that they no longer have both parents on hand to share their daily activities and support them in their school and social endeavors.
  • Maintaining an active relationship with the parent who lives far away will probably necessitate frequent travel for your children. This can be quite stressful for all involved.

It's important to keep lines of communication open and to allow children access to both parents, whether that means frequent phone calls, video chats or even text messaging. Of course, any existing court order regarding custody and/or visitation must be obeyed. When long distance parenting leads to some sort of problem in spite of the court's ruling, Virginia residents often bring such issues to the attention of those who can help

One of the best advocates to have on your side in all matters related to parenting after divorce is an experienced family law attorney. Acting alongside assertive and compassionate representation in court usually increases the chances of attaining swift and agreeable solutions to parent-related problems in divorce.

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