Perhaps the toughest part of divorce for parents is the inevitable loss of time spent with their children. This is a difficult adjustment, even if the children reside just a few miles away. Unfortunately, in today’s mobile world, it is not uncommon for jobs to require extensive business travel or even out-of-town moves.
Each Denville child custody attorney at our firm has assisted many families that need to make these adjustments. The good news is that we have witnessed how newer technology has helped ease the discomfort and maintain strong relationships in between face-to-face visits.
Communication is Key to Strong Relationships
Physical contact with the children definitely has its benefits, and it is important to take advantage of every opportunity to have actual face time with them. However, according to an experienced licensed family therapist, true closeness is built on open and honest communication.
Even phone conversations can help maintain strong bonds, but technology enhances the opportunities by permitting more frequent contact — and face time. The following are some ways that parents can use the latest devices to bridge the communication gap:
- Maintain regular face time: It is no longer necessary for parents to share pride in their children’s accomplishments or happiness from good news through vocal intonations. Using video cameras on smart phones, tablets or computers, families can see facial expressions, just as if they were conversing in the same room.
- Assist with daily activities: Whether a young child needs a quick tutorial on buttoning a shirt, or help with a homework problem, remote parents can step up to help. Between cameras, online collaboration software and a little imagination, there are many ways to get involved on a daily basis.
- Attend important events: It may not be possible to attend every recital or birthday party in person, but as long as one attendee is willing to help, it is possible to see and hear every second of an event on-screen.
- Maintain a long-distance social network: When a child moves away due to needs of the custodial parent, they can lose out on continued contact with extended family members and friends. However, long-distance communication can be effective at maintaining those relationships, as well.
- Stay updated for effective decision making: In most cases, non-custodial parents continue to retain decision making responsibilities. Technology makes it possible to stay informed about happenings at the children’s schools — and maintain close communication with the other parent — to base decisions on current information.
Technology is One Consideration When Adjusting Parenting Arrangements
Technology affords a quality of contact with remote children that is not available by phone alone, but it does not replace physical contact. In the event that a custodial or non-custodial parent needs to move out of close range of the children, it is essential to consider many factors when negotiating new child custody parenting plans.
The lawyers at Riordan Family Law have guided countless clients through these negotiations, and we can identify many issues that parents may not consider during these challenging times. Call us or use our convenient online contact form.