Sharing custody of your kids with your former spouse can be difficult when you live close to each other. But if your ex moves to another state, you must figure out how to co-parent from a distance.

Your children’s time with their other parent is important. If you don’t want them to lose out on that relationship, you and your ex will have to work together to maintain a connection. Here are a few tips for co-parenting across state lines:

  • Schedule regular communication – Just like a custody arrangement, a communication schedule can ensure your children regularly speak with their other parent. Setting up one or multiple days every week can help keep lines open. And with video calls, they can even talk face-to-face with your ex.
  • Keep your former spouse updated – Try to make sure your ex knows what’s going on in your children’s lives. If you don’t want to speak on the phone, you can text or email. You can even use a shared calendar that shows your children’s schedules.
  • Make arrangements for extended stays – If you have primary custody, the other parent may miss out on visitation time. During summer and holiday breaks, your children can visit your ex and stay for a while. These trips can ensure your children maintain a relationship with both parents.
  • Work with your ex – A relationship with both parents is usually in your children’s best interests. Regardless of how you feel about your former spouse, try to find ways to help him or her stay close to your kids.

Long-distance co-parenting can be stressful for both you and your children. But by creating a plan and working together, you can make sure your kids have two parents in their lives.