Co-Parenting with an Out-of-Town Ex

Parent Q&A

  • co-parent moving to Pasadena

    (2 replies)

    Has anyone made long-distance co-parenting work? My ex and I have been doing a great job co-parenting our 8 and 10yo boys, and it really helps that we live just down the road from each other. He kept the house we bought together. He also owns a house in Altadena he bought before we were married, and he has always wanted to go back (he rents it out). Now he wants to move to Pasadena to accept his dream job at JPL, but my dream job - not to mention the kids’ school and friends and my community of friends - are all here in Berkeley. He wants me to move down there too so our family can be together. But I don’t want to do that! I can’t imagine how this will all work out. If he’s flying back and forth, where will he stay when he comes to Berkeley? Put a tiny house in the backyard and rent out the house? What about in Altadena? Build a back house there and rent out the main house? This all sounds way too expensive and complicated! And the cost of air fare! And not having him be a regular part of their lives, and someone to help me out when I need it or when I’m working in the evenings or long hours on a big project. (We have no family here to help.) Do you have any stories of how this has worked for you, or any advice for me? Thank you!

    RE: co-parent moving to Pasadena ()

    My parents divorced when I was 13 and my siblings were 8 and 15. My mother moved to California and left my father in Texas. They worked it out that we lived with my mom during the school year and spent summers with my dad. It was actually fine for us kids. Not sure if that would be an option. 

    RE: co-parent moving to Pasadena ()

    Hi. This is such an intricate and difficult situation. I live here in the Bay Area. My 5 year old father's son lives in LA. We have been co-parenting since he was born and it's always been long distance. Fortunately, it's all that my son knows, but not having much family support here has been very difficult and trying. If I had started with his father in his life almost daily, I don't know if i would be able to change up the routine. I've paid thousands and thousands of dollars in childcare fees because of my work hours. Not to mention daycare costs. Up until this year, my son's father would stay with us when he'd visit and would visit about once a month for a week. It worked out okay when he would come and we are very committed to co-parenting and never fighting in front of our son. But, now that I am in a new relationship, the situation has changed. Now, my son flies to LA and stays with his dad there or his father comes here and stays in a hotel or air bnb. This can get expensive and has schooling scheduling conflicts. If it wasn't for our jobs, I think that we would have been closer in proximity to make all of our lives easier. This would be so much harder if I had 2 children with him and I was in the Bay by myself without any family support. I don't know how feasibly possible for myself or emotionally possible this would be to now switch up the double-parenting team. Although I believe that there is no perfect answer nor is there a wrong answer, you have to ask yourself a couple of things. Is staying in the Bay best for me or my boys? And, do I want other people besides their father helping me to raise them? I would definitely say that the support of blood is super important and necessary, and that is what I am lacking as a single mother. Ultimately, follow your instincts and follow your heart. You will make the best decision and make it work. I hope my experience helped some. I wish you and your family the best.