Issues to Consider When Developing a Long – Distance Parenting Plan
In almost all cases, it is in the best interests of a child for his or her parents to live near enough to each other to allow the child to easily spend time with both parents in their separate households. It is for this reason that many states, Texas included, place restrictions on the ability of divorced parents to relocate without the permission of the other.
In those cases when parents must live far away from one another, special care should be taken when developing a parenting plan. Parents should recognize that they will have to make extra effort to facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent, and take necessary steps to do so.
Some issues to consider when negotiating a long-distance parenting plan include:
- Parenting time when the child is an infant (until 30 months)
- When should overnight visits begin?
- What kind of phone, video chat, and other telecommunications access will be allowed and encouraged between the distant parent and the child?
- If exchanges are made via car, who will pick up and deliver the child and who will pay for transportation costs?
- If airline travel is necessary for the child to visit the long-distance parent, who shall accompany the child? At what age may the child fly in the company of an airline chaperone? Will the exchange between the parents take place at the airport or at the parent’s home? Who will pay for airline tickets?
- Which parent will be responsible for replacing lost or damaged possessions of the child while the child visits with the long-distance parent?
- Can the long-distance parent take the child on vacation during visitation, with what restrictions or notifications?
- Can either parent travel internationally with the child, at what age, and with what restrictions and notifications?
DistanceParent.org is the website of a nonprofit organization called The Long Distance Parent. The website offers sample long-distance parenting plans, forums for discussions with other parents, legal resources, and more.
Contact Attorney Kevin Buchanan for Answers to Questions About Long-Distance Parenting Plans
Kevin Buchanan is a Dallas lawyer offering family law clients skillful and experienced representation with a strong emphasis on fairness, and on treating all clients with dignity and respect. If you have questions about negotiating a long-distance parenting plan, he would be pleased to review your circumstances and offer his opinion. To schedule a private consultation, fill out the online intake form or call (214) 378-9500.