September 9, 2022

How to Make Long-Distance Child Custody Work in Florida

Parents living more than 50 miles apart are considered to be sharing long-distance custody in Florida. It makes no difference whether the distance is within the state or if one parent lives out of state. Floridians must use the Long-Distance Parenting Plan to manage long-distance child custody. 

Read on as we discuss more long-distance parenting plans and what you need to consider. 

What Is a Long-Distance Parenting Plan? 

A long-distance parenting plan is a detailed agreement between the parents outlining how they will continue co-parenting their children even though they live in different cities or states. Here, both parents agree on a schedule for when the child will be with each parent. 

This is important because it provides stability and certainty for the child, who would otherwise have to adjust to a constantly changing schedule. This allows the child to maintain relationships with both parents.

Finally, a long-distance parenting plan can help reduce conflict between the parents. If the parents can agree on a schedule, they are less likely to argue about custody arrangements. This can provide some peace of mind for both parents and the child. 

What Are the Things to Consider in a Long-Distance Parenting Plan? 

1. Communication

As a long-distance parent, you must be proactive about communication. You can’t just rely on chance encounters or spontaneous phone calls. It is vital to set up a regular communication schedule. This will help ensure that both parents can stay up-to-date on what is going on in the child’s life. You should also decide which method of communication you will use. 

It is also important to decide what information you will share. Will you share school grades? Medical information? Daily activities? You need to be sure that both parents are comfortable with the level of communication that will take place. 

2. Decision Making 

Decision-making can be difficult when you are a long-distance parent. You may not be there for every little decision your child makes, but you can still have a say in the big decisions. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you are involved in the decision-making process.

A parenting plan will give you and the other parent an outline of what decisions need to be completed and who will be responsible for making them. If possible, try to agree on major decisions before they need to be made. This way, there will be no surprises, and everyone will know what is expected of them. 

3. Scheduling and Holidays 

Scheduling and holidays can be tough to navigate when you have a long-distance custody parenting plan. Here are some tips to make the process a little easier: 

  • Talk to your co-parent about your holiday plans well in advance. This will give you time to plan and ensure you’re on the same page.
  • Be flexible with your schedule. You may not be able to celebrate every holiday together, but try to be flexible and work with your co-parent to devise a plan that works for both of you.


Long-distance child custody in Florida can be challenging to manage, but it is possible with proper planning and communication. If you are a parent facing this situation, contact an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.

If you need a good family lawyer, contact Dorsey Law JAX. Top Jacksonville Attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury are available. Call us to schedule a consultation today!


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