After a divorce, some Virginia parents might have to move away from their children. Parents may be concerned both that their children will feel even more abandoned on the heels of the divorce and that the bond between them will suffer. However, there are many things long-distance parents can do to keep in touch with their children and ensure that their time together is high-quality even if it is infrequent.
Parents should talk to their children about how they prefer to stay in contact and if they want their parent to come to them or if they prefer to visit their parent. Parents can make phone calls outside of scheduled times and use postcards, text, email and social media to deliver positive messages to their children. They can also ask them about things happening in their lives, such as how an activity they are involved in went.
Parents should make an effort to find out what their child’s interests are, and if they do not know much about them, they should try to learn more. They should also try to get to know their child’s friends and the friends’ parents. The bulk of their time with their child should be one-on-one time, and parents who are dating should not introduce new partners until the relationship is more serious.
Child custody and visitation can be difficult for parents to deal with even if the divorce is amicable. It can be hard for parents to accept that they will have far less time with their children than they are used to, and both parents may feel they should have primary physical custody. While shared custody may be the right solution in some situations, parents who are negotiating a child custody agreement should use the same criteria a court would – the best interests of the child.