Setting up a child custody plan that works given the reality of the parent's living circumstances is important. If the parents live on opposite sides of the country, the typical shared parenting arrangements simply won't apply.
Here are a few examples of parent living arrangements and how exes can adjust their parenting plans to accommodate the reality of their situations:
The parents live several hours away from one another
Imagine you live in Miami and your ex lives in Orlando. Driving several hours to pick up and drop off your child every other weekend is certainly doable. Trying to achieve this to spend one day visiting with the child every week, on the other hand, is probably too much for both parents to handle. One way to help alleviate the transportation burden is to have the parents meet each other halfway.
The parents live on opposite sides of the country from one another
Living on opposite sides of the country presents a difficult visitation challenge. However, by strategically sharing three-day weekends, holidays and summer vacation time, the child may be able to spend a total of a couple of months per year with the parent who lives at a distance. This may not be ideal in terms of how much time the parents and children want to spend with each other.
The parents live just around the corner from one another
Clearly, the closer parents live, the easier it will be for them to exchange their children back and forth. In these circumstances, virtually any kind of time-sharing arrangements will be easy to organize.
No matter what your living circumstance, you should have the right to visit with your child or children in most situations. All it requires is a little bit of creativity and flexibility on the part of the parents, and a variety of solutions can be envisioned to meet your particular needs.