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This room is for supportive and informative discussion about divorce and/or the annulment process. All posters must have been previously divorced or annulled.

Saint Eugene De Mazenod is patron of dysfunctional families & Saint Fabiola obtained a divorce from her first husband prior to devoting her life to charitable works.
Learn More: Saint Eugene De Mazenod and Saint Fabiola

May 30th 2013 new
My kids grew up 400 miles from where I lived. There was no skype in the 80's. Fortunately my ex realized I needed to be in the kids lives so, as long as I was willing to make the effort to visit and to arrange for them to visit me, she never got in the way. I could have never done this without my parents, who helped me transport the kids back and forth from NH to NJ. When my son was 13, he decided he wanted to live with me. At that point I was still the one to bring him to visit his Mother. The hardest thing in my life was having to switch from plain Allen to Allen - the father of Jennifer and Jason. But I did and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Today they are both important people in my life. Jen lives about 10 minutes away and Jay lives in Wilmington, about 2 hours away.

I pray that reading how someone else overcame what was undoubtedly a difficult situation will give you strength.
May 31st 2013 new
(quote) Allen-311949 said: My kids grew up 400 miles from where I lived. There was no skype in the 80's. Fortunately my ex realized I needed to be in the kids lives so, as long as I was willing to make the effort to visit and to arrange for them to visit me, she never got in the way. I could have never done this without my parents, who helped me transport the kids back and forth from NH to NJ. When my son was 13, he decided he wanted to live with me. At that point I was still the one to bring him to visit his Mother. The hardest thing in my life was having to switch from plain Allen to Allen - the father of Jennifer and Jason. But I did and I wouldn't have had it any other way. Today they are both important people in my life. Jen lives about 10 minutes away and Jay lives in Wilmington, about 2 hours away.

I pray that reading how someone else overcame what was undoubtedly a difficult situation will give you strength.
Allen, Thank you for having the courage to share your story. Your humility is a model for the next generation of single Catholic parents. A parent doesn't stop being a parent or having that desire or obligation even though separated by distance. I, too, have learned that after they grow up, children can choose to return in a major way to the noncustodial parent.
May 31st 2013 new
I reconnected on FB with a step-daughter I hadn't seen in 20 years.. She has no relationship with her dad (my ex).. I am very glad to be a part of her life once again.
May 31st 2013 new
(quote) Donna-83441 said: I reconnected on FB with a step-daughter I hadn't seen in 20 years.. She has no relationship with her dad (my ex).. I am very glad to be a part of her life once again.
Donna, I am so happy for you. 2013 is a very good year for you! hug
May 31st 2013 new
(quote) Kate-806727 said: Michael,

Something that my son (4yo) does with my parents that live out of state in addition to skype they read stories together. I found cheap books and bought 2. One to send to my parents the other to keep at home. My dad can now read with my son. They can talk about what is on the page because they are looking at the same book. I've also xeroxed and scanned books to send to my dad to read. It's awesome. You could buy your older daughter a book and even if you don't read it out loud together, you could read it at the same time and talk about it like a book club.

Like someone else said, you have some legal issues here. If you have joint legal custody, you have the right to get information from the school. You should call and explain this to the school and fax/e-mail a copy of your decree so that they have it on file. In my experience, the schools are good at working with the parents of divorced children and want to help. Get to know the teacher. They should do conferences twice a year if not more. Ask if you can do yours by phone. Ask if you can check in with her via e-mail once a week or so. This will let you know when school pictures are taken and who the photographer is so that you can order yours. You will know about events at school so you can ask your kids about them.

Parenting long distance is more work, but it should slowly become easier as they get older and as things get more routine. Depending on the circumstances around your ex's move, if she is moving further away from you where visits go from hard to impossible, she may need a court order to do that. Most courts favor frequent and continuing contact with both parents.
Kate, you have made very wise, practical suggestions in your comments. Thanks for updating me on how to parent young children via long distance in the 21st Century.
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