When parents live far apart from each other, establishing a long distance custody agreement becomes essential for the children’s well-being. In general, long distance custody agreements can be challenging, as they involve greater coordination, planning, and communication than a traditional custody arrangement. However, with proper planning and communication, parents can create a working agreement that meets the needs of everyone involved. Here are some examples of long distance custody agreements that could work for families in different situations.
1. The alternating weekends arrangement
In this arrangement, the child spends every other weekend with the non-custodial parent. This is a popular arrangement, as it gives both parents a chance to have quality time with their children. Additionally, the non-custodial parent can have extended vacation time during the summer or other school breaks.
2. The every third weekend arrangement
In this arrangement, the child spends every third weekend with the non-custodial parent, in addition to alternating holidays and school breaks. This is a good option for parents who live far apart and want to maintain a strong relationship with their children while minimizing the disruption to their routine.
3. The split summer arrangement
In this arrangement, the child lives with one parent during the first half of summer vacation and then spends the second half with the other parent. This gives both parents a chance to enjoy quality time with their child throughout the summer months. Note that travel expenses would have to be arranged by the parents.
4. The week-on, week-off arrangement
In this arrangement, the child spends one week with each parent, and the schedule repeats itself throughout the year. This is a flexible arrangement that allows both parents to have equal time with their child, but it requires a high level of planning and coordination between both parties.
5. The extended visitation arrangement
In this arrangement, the child spends blocks of time with the non-custodial parent, such as two to four weeks at a time during summer vacation, winter break, or other school holidays. While this arrangement requires more planning and communication than other options, it can be an excellent way for children to develop a strong relationship with both parents. However, this arrangement can be difficult for children who are very young or have a hard time being away from their primary caregiver for long periods.
In conclusion, parents who live far apart from each other must establish a long distance custody agreement that works best for their child. A good long distance custody arrangement should consider the child`s needs and the parents` schedules, as well as provide a sense of routine and stability. By considering different options and working with experienced family lawyers, parents can create a well-structured agreement that works well for their entire family.