Many parents who divorce start off with the idea that they'll both stay in the same area, but things may change so that one parent moves away. Along with meeting someone new, one parent may move for a new job or be forced to relocate by their current work. This can create a number of problems for both parents.
Even if someone lives within a few hours of where the other parent does, commute times can cut into the time that someone has with their children. This may lead to battles about whether or not commute times should count against visitation time. Additionally, a non-custodial parent who lives far away may start to cancel visitation times, leaving the custodial parent scrambling.
To help ease both parents into this new way of doing things, mediation may be beneficial. Even though a couple has divorced and they do not need to work on issues related to their marriage anymore, they may still need to hash out things related to raising children. Mediation may help parents determine how to handle new challenges related to traveling, visitation time and making sure children are happy with the new arrangements.
Child custody issues can be contentious since the custodial parent is normally the one who makes choices about where a child lives and the education they receive. Additionally, the custodial parent also generally spends the majority of time with kids. The court normally decides these matters based on the best interest of the child, but parents may also be able to come to a custody agreement through mediation or a collaborative divorce. A lawyer could explain someone's options for deciding custody and what may happen depending on the type of divorce proceedings they choose.