At least one spouse moves out of the family home during an Illinois divorce. When one or both parents end up moving far enough away from each other that evening and weekend visits are difficult, the parenting plan will need to take this into account. Noncustodial parents typically are able to have longer blocks of time during school breaks to make up for the weekday and weekend visits they miss during the school year.

Here are some other ways that they can maintain a healthy parent-child relationship during those long periods of absence.

Stay in contact with the custodial parent

Cooperation with the custodial parent is key to ensuring involvement. For example, if the parents have a good co-parenting relationship, the custodial parent may be agreeable to ensuring that the other parent is present at school events, parent-teacher conferences and other occasions through video chat. When the custodial parent shares details about social or extracurricular events, it provides the other parent with topics to discuss with the child during texting, video or phone conversations.

Use technology

Regardless of the relationship between the co-parents, the noncustodial parent has the right to stay in touch with the child. This may not include long video chats every evening that disrupt the routines of the child’s home. However, the parenting plan may designate a certain evening of the week for a video chat, and the custodial parent would violate the order if he or she interferes.

Texting, instant messaging apps and social media are other ways a parent may use technology to keep in touch, as well as playing online games together or sending recordings of stories for younger children to listen to at bedtime.