Being the non-custodial parent in a divorce situation is tough. When you don’t have the day-to-day control over your children’s life, it can feel like you aren’t actually involved. However, there are ways you can ensure that you continue to be involved and active in your kids’ lives. Here are five tips to help.
- Set the Right Visitation Parameters
Being the non-custodial parent shouldn’t mean you never get to spend time with your children. Talk to a family attorney Tampa FL residents trust to ensure your child custody and support agreement allows you adequate visitation time. If it does not, your lawyer can help you request modifications.
- Schedule Video Phone Calls
If you cannot see your children on a regular basis due to school schedules or distance, schedule regular video phone calls. This will give you the face-to-face interaction you both need. Stick to a regular schedule, so your kids know they can count on your call.
- Talk about Day to Day Stuff
When you don’t see your kids every day, you aren’t going to be the one helping with homework or hanging out with friends. When you do get the opportunity to spend time together or talk on the phone, ask about their everyday life. Work hard to remember about big events, like upcoming tests or parties with their friends that are important to them, and ask about those when you talk again. While your kids may not always answer with lengthy stories, it will show that you care about the stuff that’s important to them.
- Show Up for Events
Go to your children’s games. Attend their school programs. Ask to be included in parent-teacher conferences. By showing up, you will show your child that you care and want to be involved. If distance is a factor, make an effort to visit during those times when important events are scheduled.
- Send Other Communication
If the custodial parent is making visits difficult, send letters, gifts, text messages and other forms of communication that you think will get through. Be careful to ensure that these items are things that your children will like, so pay attention to changing tastes as your child grows up.
Parents need interaction with both of their parents. Being the non-custodial parent means you have to work a little harder for this, but it is possible. If you feel that the custodial parent is not giving you adequate time with your children, talk to a divorce lawyer about your options.
Thanks to friends and contributors from the McKinney Law Group for their insight into family law.