It’s not practical.
Drafting a residential schedule under a parenting plan where parties are miles away? We recommend thinking about practicality. The typical twice-a-month or every-weekend visitation between states or sometimes even countries are extremely difficult – not just for the kids, but likely for you too – the financial, emotional, logistical aspect of it to start with.
Here’s what you can do.
The classic long distance parenting plan:
In this situation, a long distance parenting plan can start by simply making a decision of lessening the visitation days. It is important to note though that this simple solution is not that simple. Less frequent visits but making the fewer visits longer ones are impactful to the child/ren. Example, summer break to the custodial parent, then longer Christmas vacation to the non-custodial parent. This will have a highly emotional bearing to both the child/ren and the parent, so we advice you to really put careful thought on it or be open to other options.
The hybrid long distance parenting plan:
Creating a flexible schedule that works for both the parents – upon mutually clear agreement is also a good option. Flexibility but with clear communication (via advance notice) – are two key concepts that make up this type of long distance parenting plan.
For children who are going to school, you can arrange that while in school, the child/ren can be with you (custodial parent), then vacation (like summer, or winter) can be with the other parent (or non-custodial parent).
Remember, when it comes to creating these long distance parenting plans, the emotional needs and developmental level of the child/ren are of utmost importance. Another is the child/ren’s relationship with his/her/their sibling/s. Your schedule also comes into play, whether you can accommodate consistently with these schedules.
What About Logistics in this Long Distance Parenting Plan?
There is a lot to say about travel or flights for the child/ren. For one, the cost of it is definitely a factor. Though it may vary from family to family, the key to this is to co-parent and come up with a plan that will ensure your child/ren’s safety when travelling via flights due to the long distance.
The non-custodial parent can fly to pick up the child/ren and pay the costs. On the other hand when the child/ren are now returning, the custodial parent may fly to pick them up and pay the costs. There is no set standard on how to split travel costs and/or who travels with the child/ren because it really depends on the parents’ schedule and financial ability.
We at Soriano Law can help. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys can assist you in situations like these. We have also written blogs about parenting plan and other family law articles you can read here that might be useful for you. Call us to learn more at (360) 249-6174 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check our local maps here too if you can pay a visit.