The greatest risk for noncustodial parents during (and after) divorce is the loss of meaningful contact with their children. Displacement from the family home is only one of many divorce effects that can interfere with your parent-child bond.
In another example, failure to follow your child custody orders can drive a wedge between you and your kids. Fortunately, noncustodial parents can avoid this risk by working to fortify the bonds they already have with their children.
1. Be consistent
As mentioned briefly above, always follow your child’s custody and visitation arrangements. Even if they never say so, your children will appreciate your dependability and that you are always there when expected. Consistency lets them know you value your time together and don’t want to miss a moment with them.
2. Connect often
On the days you cannot be with your children physically, connect with them over the phone or through a video chatting service. Frequent contact strengthens the bonds you already share while showing your kids that you always have time to speak with them. It can also encourage them to reach out to you with an unsolicited phone call when they want or need to talk.
3. Show up
Attend each one of the activities in which your children participate to show your support and interest. Kids nearly always notice it when one parent attends their functions and events, but the other parent rarely shows up. Your routine presence can also help your children accept the few occasions when work or other obligations might prevent you from attending.
4. Educate yourself
Finally, know and understand the child custody and visitation laws in your region of California. Such knowledge allows you to seek a remedy if your post-divorce custody arrangements fail to preserve your children’s best interests.