Tackling Practicality

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January 19, 2011

It is increasingly common to see divorced parents who are living some distance apart. Oregon does not place many legal restrictions on custodial parents moving with the children, making it possible for the custodial parent to move hundreds to thousands of miles away.

This creates great difficulty in effectuating healthy parenting time. It is important to recognize these problems are not necessarily legal. Some common practical problems include financial inability to facilitate transportation, inability due to a lack of work schedule flexibility, and weather problems. The age of the children can also create “distance parenting” problems. Younger children tend to benefit by frequency rather than duration of parenting time. Older children are often hesitant to miss planned activities in their “hometowns.”

Many parents have difficulty accepting the solutions to these practicality problems. A good example is the parent who asks for every other weekend when they are living 300 or more miles apart. The best solution is usually found in school schedules which create extended weekends and in giving the noncustodial parent extended time in summer and a greater portion of the holidays. These solutions require sacrifice by both parents. Both need to find motivation in the realization that the transportation burdens are primarily bore by the children, whose only desire is to be with their moms and dads.