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  • Writer's pictureAngela Larimer

Long Distance Parenting


Family Law resolutions offer opportunities to make a fresh start and improve your life. For help with your divorce, parentage, including child support and parenting time, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in Chicago, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600 or email Angela at angela@larimerlawllc.com


Long-distance co-parenting can present unique challenges for parents who live far apart but still share the responsibility of raising their children. These challenges may include how to maintain consistent communication, how to manage visitation and scheduling, as well as fostering a strong parent-child relationship, despite the distance. With effective strategies and tried and true tips you can overcome the everyday challenges and create a successful and healthy long-distance co-parenting system. Here are some common challenges and potential solutions:

  1. Parenting schedules: Using tools such as Talking Parents or Our Family Wizard can make scheduling and even communication healthy, stable, reliable and overall consistent for your child. Creating a parenting schedule that works for both parents and allows for quality time with the child(ren) is essential. This may involve coordinating school holidays, summer breaks, and long weekends to maximize the time spent together. Flexibility and compromise are key when negotiating parenting schedules.

  2. Communication: Maintaining open and regular communication is crucial in long-distance co-parenting. Using the previously suggested applications can be useful not only to manage communication but also for your attorney’s and Guardian ad Litem to be up to date. Other forms of communication tools such as phone calls, video chats, emails, and text messages to stay connected with your child(ren) are highly encouraged if possible. Consider setting up a regular schedule for communication to ensure consistency.

  3. Emotional support: Long-distance while co-parenting can be emotionally challenging for not only both parents but also the children. Be sure to encourage and maintain open and honest lines of communication with your child(ren), allow them to express their feelings. It is important to express empathy and provide reassurance where they need it as we as overall support during difficult times. Therapy and counseling for your children or you and your children is also a good tool to help navigate any emotional challenges.

  4. Travel: Always make sure to plan ahead in order to manage any logistics while traveling between households. The transportation arrangements, costs, pick up or drop off points are all responsibilities both parents should be on the same page about. Shared calendars or using the parenting apps cited above can help ensure that everyone is on the same page.

  5. Consistency: While travel can be difficult and expensive, maintaining consistent parenting practices despite the challenges is important. Both parties should try to establish shared guidelines and rules for the child(ren)’s upbringing. Regular communication between parents can help address or compromise on any differences to ensure a unified parenting approach.

  6. Stay Involved: Regardless if you cannot be there physically to support or be in attendance for your child it is crucial to stay involved in your child's life. Try to attend school events, sports events or other extracurricular activities and/or any other important milestones whenever possible. Remember that technology is your friend! Participate virtually via Facetime or Zoom when you cannot be there in person. Consistent communication with teachers, coaches, tutors, babysitters and/or other essential individuals to stay informed about your child's progress and well-being is important!

  7. Agreements: Co-parenting agreements and being able to establish concrete and comprehensive co-parenting agreements can help prevent misunderstandings or escalate conflicts. Consult with a family law attorney or mediator or Guardian ad Litem to ensure the agreement is legally sound and meets the needs of both parents and the child. Remember, the well-being of the child should always be the top priority in long-distance co-parenting!

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