Ideas for facilitating contact when a parent is long-distance
Sometimes it is unavoidable to have a residence in another state or a residence that is many miles away from your child(ren)'s primary residence. Here are some things you can do to stay as connected as possible:
Do you have difficulty communicating with and exchanging information with your ex? Do you wish there was a way to have written messages checked for negative content before sending? There is a program called "Our Family Wizard" you might want to learn more about. There are messaging and calendaring features for children's activities and parenting schedules. Having this information available in one location could help reduce misunderstandings. You can give your attorney access to monitor the communication. They have a military discount and also an application process for people with financial hardship. A "tone meter" alerts the sender to language that could be perceived as improper or upsetting to the recipient, so there is an opportunity for he sender to change it. Sometimes a written message comes across in a way that was not intended, so the "tone meter" might help with that issue.
I want to be sure you are aware your Divorce or Child Custody case appears online in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Supreme Court Network (www.oscn.net) maintains a website with public information about all Divorce and Paternity cases filed in Oklahoma. Many counties scan pleadings and orders, so anyone with internet and a device can read most of the documents filed in your case. Children should not be reading the documents from your case file, so if your child is computer savvy and curious this could be an issue. Some courts are reluctant to seal cases; however, there is a legal procedure to seal your court documents from public online view. In contrast, Guardianships and Adoptions are automatically sealed and are not public record.
Oklahoma law now requires all parents of minor children to attend a Co-Parenting class before a Divorce is granted. Parents should attend the class either before a temporary order is entered, or within forty-five days after a temporary order is entered by the judge in their case, and their certificate must be filed with the court. The class shall focus on the impact of divorce upon children, and the parties can attend separately or together. The full text of the law is found at 43 O.S. 107.2: http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=71819
The program must also include education about domestic violence and ways to reduce parental conflict. Oklahoma county requires that this class be attended in person rather than online. All courts are permitted to set their own compliance requirements. This law is mandatory for all divorcing parents, and may also be required in the court's discretion for parents with Paternity cases. Waivers may be granted only in special circumstances with good cause established to the court. A course that complies with this requirement is Co-Parenting for Resilience, offered by the OSU Extension Office. Learn more about their program at this link:https://humansciences.okstate.edu/fcs/coparenting/
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