When two parents live a long way away from each other, it isn't practical to have a 50-50 parenting split. It may not even be practical to do an 80-20 every-other-weekend schedule.
Imagine you live a five-hour drive from the other parent. It would be a significant burden to drive your child to and from the other parent's house every other weekend. As such, long-distance visitation arrangements may be best.
How long-distance visitation usually works
There are a variety of ways to ensure that your child spends time with his or her noncustodial parent. For example, you might have younger children spend five to seven days with the other parent every few months if your child has yet to start school. Alternatively, your child might do a long weekend visit on alternate months.
When parents have sufficient money to pay for flights, long-distance visiting arrangements can happen a little bit easier, but navigating airports with your children frequently may be burdensome. It all depends on what you're capable of organizing between you, your ex and your child's schedules.
One way to keep children in close contact with the noncustodial parent who lives far away is to schedule regular phone and video chats. Also, you should give your child the freedom to call the noncustodial parent whenever he or she wants.
Holidays are other opportunities for children to spend time with the other parent. For example, if your child will have a week break from school, it could be a great time for your child to connect with the other parent.
The noncustodial parent who receives long-distance visitation rights will usually receive six to eight weeks of visitation time during summer vacations. Also, the parents are usually allowed to take the children for two to four weeks of vacation each year.
Could long-distance visitation work for you?
Every family has different needs and requirements for child custody and parenting time arrangements. Be sure to review all the options available before you decide on which custody arrangements are most appropriate for you and your family.