Even if you were the one who took the initial step by filing a divorce petition in a Virginia court, it doesn’t mean it was easy to leave your kids. Adapting to a new lifestyle as a non-custodial parent typically takes time, patience and a lot of effort. Especially if your relationship with your ex is less than amicable, you might have worried how living with their other parent might negatively influence your children’s attitude toward you.
The good news is that there are many ways to stay closely connected to your kids after divorce. After all, no longer wanting to be married to a particular person in no way means you are abdicating your parental rights or responsibilities. Advanced technology provides basic tools that can help play an active role in your children’s lives as a non-custodial parent. Building a strong support network from the start is another good idea.
Stay in touch on a daily basis
There is definitely a plethora of literature available that emphasizes how modern technology has created a breakdown in purposeful communication; however, that’s not always the case. In fact, if you do not have primary custody of your kids, you can make good use of many electronic devices and online services to keep in close touch with your children.
Especially if you live a great distance away from your kids, virtual visits may come in handy. Numerous apps, such as FaceTime or Skype, allow you to chat with your children and see them at the same time. Is it the same as being there in person? Of course not, but it beats having to wait weeks at a time to see your children’s faces.
Kids love to text and take pictures
In addition to a virtual chat, you can make use of texting, Snapchat and other tools to check in with your kids and to keep updated on what’s going on in their daily lives. Think about it. Even when you lived under the same roof, it didn’t guarantee that you had ample hours every day for long conversations.
Sending a text or taking a selfie is a quick and easy way to let each other know you’re thinking of one another when you can’t be together in person. It’s also good for your children to know that they have access to you 24/7, particularly if you’re in the first weeks or months after finalizing your divorce. Frequent correspondence with you may help them cope better with the changes in their lives.
Protecting your parental rights
Unless there is a court order in place that somehow restricts your ability to stay closely connected with your children, they and you have a right to keep in touch. Being a non-custodial parent doesn’t mean you have lost your rights. If your ex is not allowing your kids to keep in touch with you or is disregarding the terms of your co-parent agreement, you can ask the court to intervene to help resolve the problem.