Whether due to work or a desire to be farther away from a spouse, many divorces involve a separation of distance as well as living quarters. When this happens, all parties should exercise special care to approach the situation properly. Here are tips for creating a workable long-distance parenting plan.
When creating your parenting plan, keep in mind that communication will play the most significant role in making a fair and equitable setup. Make it clear to your spouse what you want because if you don’t speak up, there’s little to no chance the plan will look the way you want it to.
Communication will continue to be important once the plan is in place, as the local parent should keep the distant parent up to date on any major events in the child’s life.
Simply stating your desires during the plan’s creation is often not enough, as some of them may conflict with your spouse’s wishes. Always be prepared to compromise and stay flexible. While long-distance parenting comes with its share of hurdles, a willingness to compromise for the sake of your child will make the process much simpler.
Long-distance travel expenses add up quickly, and they shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of one spouse (assuming both spouses are financially stable). Determine the cost breakdown of travel expenses from the beginning to avoid surprises or the need to make changes in the future.
The age of your child plays a large role in many different avenues of parenting plan creation. For example, children up to three or four years old shouldn’t be separated from their primary caregiver for long (and typically not overnight). Five to 10-year-old children can be away from their primary caregiver for a few days, and overnight trips don’t cause as much stress.
A final tip for creating a workable long-distance parenting plan is recognizing that compromise isn’t always possible. Sometimes, a spouse may have unreasonable expectations, and that’s when you should consider reaching out to a Chicago child custody lawyer for assistance.