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Your divorce might require you or the other parent to move out of town. A long-distance move can be one of the deciding factors in the court’s custody decision if you and your ex don’t agree on who gets the kids. Your location can also have an effect on how often you can reasonably see your children and your relationship with them. Your divorce lawyer will help you come to an agreement on custody with your ex, and can help you revisit the issue of custody after your divorce is complete, but knowing what can impact your case is half the battle.

If You Need to Move: Talking to Your Divorce Lawyer

Your divorce lawyer is the only person who can provide you with legal advice that is perfectly tailored to your case. He or she might advise you to stay as close to your marital home as possible so that you can be accessible to your kids and minimize the amount of change they have to face during your divorce.

In some cases, however, there’s no getting around it. If your only option is to move in with your parents, or if you have to take an out-of-town job, a long-distance move is necessary. You’ll have to talk to your Barrie divorce lawyer about your child custody options if you’re going to move out of town, because they vary greatly from case to case.

When Your Ex Moves Away

If your ex is headed out of town, you’ll need to prepare your kids as best you can. In order to maintain a healthy relationship with your children, you have to do your best to ensure they have the same with your ex—but that’s not always easy. Your divorce lawyer might be able to refer you to a counselor or therapist who specializes in keeping parent-child relationships intact.

Keeping Your Kids Close to a Faraway Parent

While it’s your ex’s responsibility to maintain a close relationship with his or her children, it’s your responsibility to facilitate it because your children live with you most (or all) of the time. Tools like Skype, FaceTime and other webcam applications can serve as a temporary “visiting” solution when financial or time constraints prevent face-to-face visits, so encourage your ex to make use of them.

For your kids’ emotional health, most psychologists suggest that parents refrain from keeping kids from communicating with an absentee ex, even if it means making small sacrifices along the way. If you have to be a few minutes late for school or work, or if you’re sticking around waiting for a phone call when you could be doing other things, it’s generally a good idea to make sure the kids know you’re making room for their mom or dad to maintain their relationships.

Naturally, if your ex takes advantage of your goodwill, let your divorce lawyer know; he or she might be able to make some adjustments that require your ex to stick to a predetermined schedule.

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