Advice from someone who has been in your shoes




Parenting Plans - by CustodyIQ


LONG DISTANCE PARENTING AND MOVE-AWAYS

I've encountered no good solution when the parents live many hours apart. Do your best to get both parents in the same city. If the other parent moved away, suck up your ego and figure out how to move to the other parent's city.

A 50/50 schedule across distance is not likely to be approved by a court. It's not likely in the best interest of the children.

If the children are teenagers, the bond likely will be preserved across long-distance, so long as regular contact is in place with opportunity for spending lengthy periods of time with the distant parent.

If the children are younger, it will be a challenge to maintain a bond across distance. Such would be a tragedy for the distant parent, as well as the kids.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN THE PARENTING PLAN
  • If the other parent has moved or is intending to move, include a clause in the parenting plan that outlines a more desirable parenting schedule if you move within 5 miles of the other parent. That way, whenever you're able to move, you have a much better parenting schedule that immediately kicks in without any dispute.

  • If the other parent has moved or is intending to move, consider a clause making that parent pay the major burden of the children's travel expenses between homes (e.g., the parent who moves must pay 75% of the children's airfare to/from the other parent's city).

  • If you suspect the other parent may move, include a clause that requires each parent to provide 60 days written notice to the other parent stating an intent to move more than 15 miles (or whatever) from the other parent's residence. This clause will buy you two months' time to try to fight a move-away in court, if you think that the move is not best for the kids.



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NOTE: I've found what I consider to be two very good sources for high-quality parenting plans. One offers a set of downloadable plans that you can modify, the other lets you create a parenting plan online and modify it.

Both of the sites above have the same 'parent' company and have the same plans. The only difference is that the online version also lets you share revisions with guests (your ex, your attorney, etc). This may or may not be useful, depending on your circumstances.

This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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