Living long-distance from their children can be challenging for some California parents who have gotten a divorce. However, they can still keep in touch through social media, text messages or email even if they only see their children infrequently. Regular postcards with positive messages let children know they are on their parents’ minds, and parents can also make phone calls outside of the times scheduled. Parents may want to talk to their children about what their preferred method of staying in contact is.
Children may also have preferences about visiting their parents versus having their parents visit them. Parents should try to stay involved in their children’s lives by getting to know their friends and their friends’ parents. Friends can be invited on outings or even on vacations, but parents should also make sure they have plenty of time alone with their children. This applies even if the parent has a new partner, and it is usually best to only introduce new partners once the relationship is serious.
Parents should keep up with their children’s interests and make an effort to engage with them. Asking them specific questions about these interests, their activities and things they do at school communicates to the children that their parents are aware of and care about what is happening in their lives.
Even when it does not involve one parent moving away, negotiating child custody can be one of the toughest aspects of divorce. While it can be hard for parents to accept less time with their children, they should try to focus on the best interests of the child just as a court would. Courts operate from the principle that children usually benefit from spending time with both parents. Parents should keep in mind that ex-spouses can be good parents despite their disagreements and different parenting styles.