Law Offices of Lisa Stern
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How long-distance parents can maintain bonds after divorce

Michigan parents who are divorced may struggle with the child custody and visitation schedule, but there can be additional challenges if the parent is long-distance. However, there are plenty of things parents can do to help maintain the bond even if they see their children infrequently in person. For example, parents can maintain regular communication with postcards, unscheduled phone calls, Instagram and text messages. They should ask questions specifically connected to things happening in the child's life that they have discussed.

Parents can also find out whether the children prefer to visit them or for the parent to go to the child. They should also make an effort to spend most of the visitation time with the child. It is usually best to wait to introduce new partners until the relationship has become more serious.

Parents should also try to get to know their children's friends and their parents. This helps them become more involved in their children's lives. It also makes it more likely that the friends' parents might agree for the friends to go along on outings or trips. Parents should find out what their children are interested in and try to learn more about the topic themselves. The key is quality over quantity. While there may be less time to spend together, that time can be spent wisely.

If a parent's move to a long-distance location means a change in the custody and visitation agreement made after divorce, it might be necessary to go through court to have the relocation approved and the agreement modified. A parent may also need to return to court if a modification in child support is necessary. This could be the case for support-paying parents who lose their job. On more minor issues, courts generally prefer for parents to try to work out their differences outside of court.

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