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Renegotiating parenting agreements after a move

After a divorce, some Maryland parents may initially be committed to living near each other for the sake of the children. However, if one parent starts a relationship with someone who lives further away, that could change. A parent might move in order to live closer to a new partner, and this could disrupt the visitation schedule. The parent might first underestimate how much of a commute is involved. The other parent may want to keep the child closer to home. Tensions can be exacerbated further if the new partner does not get along with the other parent.

In a conflict like this one, parents may lose sight of the child's best interests. As frustrating as the added time burden of having a parent far away may be, parents still need to focus on their child's well-being. One possible route to a solution for parents in a situation like this might be mediation.

Continued conflict after divorce is not unusual, and one study found that a decade after a divorce, up to one-half of divorced people were still angry at a former spouse. However, this anger can interfere with co-parenting and ultimately be harmful to children. Mediation is an opportunity for parents to reach a solution in a supportive environment that takes their frustrations and their children's needs into account.

Parents may need to renegotiate their parenting, custody, visitation or support agreements more than once after the divorce. A parent may lose a job, be deployed overseas or become seriously ill in a way that prevents them from caring for a child. Parents may want to try to anticipate some of these conflicts and solutions to them during the divorce and put them in the parenting agreement.

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