Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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Is Long-Distance Co-Parenting Possible?

Learn about the challenges of long-distance co-parenting & how to navigate them. Get help from an experienced New York divorce lawyer.

When co-parenting a child, the parents’ physical proximity to each other has a significant impact on how easily pick-ups and drop-offs can be made. The farther apart two parents sharing custody live from one another, the more difficult exchanging the child for visitation can be. 

However, it’s not impossible and many families make long distance co-parenting work. Here’s what to know and how an experienced New York and Connecticut divorce lawyer can help you navigate child custody matters.

Co-Parenting Challenges Are Made More Difficult By Distance 

There are several reasons why parents sharing custody may need to live a significant distance away from each other. For example, if one spouse is in the military or works abroad, that spouse may have to spend part of the year away from their hometown. Or, one parent may simply want to relocate to a different geographical area after divorcing or separating from their partner.

When this happens, parents and children face many challenges, such as: 

  • Travel expenses to pick up and drop off your child in another city or state
  • Late pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Confusion over which court has jurisdiction over the case
  • Differences in state laws if each parent lives in a separate state

What You Need To Make It Work 

Even though long-distance co-parenting can be difficult for children and their families, it can work for some. Below are some tools you can use to help mitigate some of the challenges of co-parenting with someone living far away and traveling to pick up and/or drop off your child.

  • Good communication. You and your spouse should be able to communicate civilly with each other about what’s in the best interest of your child.
  • Transportation. You will more than likely have to travel halfway to meet your spouse to pick up and drop off your child.
  • Co-parenting apps. Co-parenting apps make caring for a child in tandem with another person easier by having a calendar, notes, and messages all in one place. Most apps also record this information and send it directly to a family court.

What To Do If Co-Parenting Isn’t Working 

Whether or not you are co-parenting your child in the same town or across the country, you may find that it’s not working for one or more reasons. Perhaps travel is too expensive and difficult, or perhaps your child is missing out on important activities in their hometown while they are away.

If long-distance co-parenting doesn’t seem to be in the best interest of your child, you may be able to have your custody and visitation arrangements modified. However, you will need to show how the changes you are requesting are in the best interest of your child.

To request a modification of child custody, you need the help of an experienced divorce attorney. Heidi Opinsky has helped dozens of families like yours navigate the challenges presented by long distance co-parenting and other child custody, visitation, and child support matters. 

Contact the office today to schedule a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case by dialing 203-653-3542.