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How to maintain the parent-child relationship from a distance

There are many ways Illinois parents can bond with their children after a divorce even if they live a long distance away. They should keep in mind that scheduled visits and phone calls are not the only way to stay in touch. They can call at unscheduled times, or they can send encouraging messages using postcards. Text, social media and email all provide additional ways for parents to stay in touch with children, and they can also ask their children what they prefer.

Parents can take steps to ensure that the visits remain high in quality. This means keeping the focus on the child and making sure there is plenty of alone time. Parents should not take this time to introduce the child to people they are dating unless it is an established relationship. Parents should also try to meet their children's friends and their friends' parents. Knowing these parents increases the likelihood that the friends will be allowed to accompany the child on outings.

Parents should try to find out what their children's interests are. If they are unfamiliar, parents can research to learn more about them and how to engage with their children. Overall, parents should try to focus on building new traditions with their children, such as pizza and movie nights.

Whether or not a parent must move away, negotiating child custody can be hard because it always means a reduction of the time parents will have with their children. Each individual may feel that they would be the better custodial parent. However, child custody negotiations may have a higher likelihood of success if parents are able to put aside their differences and focus on the best interests of the child. Even if they have their differences as soon-to-be ex-spouses, they can both still be successful parents.

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