Shared parenting from separate households is difficult in its own right, but when the separate homes are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from each other shared parenting can be near impossible without tools. The potential for lack of regular contact with the parent who is not close can be very traumatic for children. With advances in technology, reduced physical contact can be supplemented by online custody or parenting time.

Video conferencing or video chat has become a wonderful avenue for the distant parent to remain close to the children. Having regular "virtual visits" can help to keep the bond between parent and child strong. The ability to not only hear the child, but also see them can be an amazing tool. As a parent, you can better read the unspoken signs and body language clues for a deeper and more meaningful conversation. There are services that charge for special features, however there are a ton of free platforms like,, and many more. We wrote an article in our blog a while back with more options.

Another incredible tool for managing long distance custody arrangements is the OurFamilyWizard website. The OurFamilyWizard website gives both parents the ability to share information in a documented manner to help reduce a potential for miscommunications and mistakes. A simple mistake can result in a parent driving for hours only to find themselves unable to spend time with the children as thought. These types of mistakes put stress on the children and can lead to even further animosity between parents.

The OurFamilyWizard website is setup into 5 main tools. A parenting Calendar allows you to setup your parenting time, share activities, and make documented requests for adjustments of parenting time, setup holiday schedules and more. The Journal is a place where you can leave notes for a specific person, the whole family or keep it private for your own uses. The Message Board is a private messaging system that is powerful enough to show when a message was actually read. The Information Bank gives you the ability to store and share everything from clothing and shoe sizes to medical information, which can be tremendously helpful, especially over the holidays. The Expense Log is an amazing tool for tracking shared expenses and their reimbursements, which can be made directly through the site. The system even affords parents the ability to receive email or text notifications of new entries by other family members.

Every page on the OurFamilyWizard website is stamped with the last time both parents saw it. The site automatically records who made the entry, when the entry was made and from what i.p. address the entry was made from. This documentation will provide the long distance parent with the ability to clearly show when they are being left in the dark because information is either on the site or not.

Here are some tips and considerations to make when long distance parenting:

• Remain involved; know who your child’s teachers, coaches and friends are.
• Regular scheduled phone calls or webcam chats, don’t miss or constantly reschedule.
• Don’t use your child to spy on the other parent.
• NEVER badmouth the other parent.
• Keep positive in your interactions with your child.
• Playing online games together.
• Sharing a TV program or sports team.
• Sending E-Cards or snail mail cards.

Author's Bio: 

Co-parenting, shared parenting and joint child custody tools for divorced or unmarried parents. Parenting time calendars, custody calendars, visitation schedules, shared expense management, messages, information storage and more to help with child custody relationships.