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Divorced parents and long-distance bonding with children

Texas parents who are divorced and who live a long distance from their children might wonder how they can keep their bonds strong. While they may have less time with their children, they can focus on ensuring that the time they do have is quality. This means their time together should be mostly one-on-one time. This is not the time to introduce the child to people the parent is casually dating. Only once a relationship is serious should these introductions happen, and even then, parents should prioritize their visiting children.

Parents may have regular phone time scheduled with their children, but they can call outside those times as well. They can also use postcards or email, text and social media to send messages to their children. These messages should be positive or ask questions about specific things in the child's life, such as how they did on a test at school.

Parents should find out what their children's interests are and try to engage with them. They should also get to know their children's friends and the friends' parents. This is not just a way to be more involved in the children's lives but also may increase the likelihood that the friends would be allowed to accompany the children on outings with noncustodial parents.

If parents have to go to court to have a judge make a decision about the schedule for child custody and visitation, the judge will determine what would be in the best interests of the child. However, it is not always necessary to go to court. Parents who are negotiating an agreement can also use the child's best interests as their criteria. Even if one parent does not move away, the child custody schedule may need modification over time as children get older and their needs change.

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