Coparenting can be a highwire act under the best of circumstances. When your coparent is in another state, or even another country, it can feel like the wire wasn’t secured correctly and the safety net guy called in sick, forever.

The good news is long distance coparenting is almost as old as parenting itself. None of these suggestions are groundbreaking, but sometimes a timely reminder can break a pattern you weren’t even aware had developed, making a world of difference.

Sharing (a calendar) is caring

Make an online, shared calendar with your coparent. And keep it updated. This will keep all the moving around, phone calls and life events smooth – or as smooth as it can get with a coparent 1,000 miles away.

Schedule calls and mean it

Regular check-ins are crucial. Establish a call schedule and do everything you can to stick to it. On the other hand, excessive, unscheduled surprise calls can be inconvenient, both for the kids and especially for your coparent. Every relationship is unique. Use your best judgement.

When you’re on the call, be emotionally available. A good home, food, school and necessities are obviously important, but emotional availability can get lost in the mix. If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to literally ask “How are you feeling?”

Regular one-on-one calls with your coparent should be included here. The better the two of you stay in synch, the easier all of this will be. Kids may sometimes seem distracted, but don’t let that fool you. They will likely sense even minor tension between you and your ex. Check your ego and disputes at the door and do whatever you can to keep it light when the kids are in earshot.

Stay on top of visitation arrangements

This is a tricky one. Often there are court-mandated schedules you must adhere to. You probably don’t need anyone telling you to view visitation as a top priority, but frequent changes and cancellations can be upsetting for both the children and the coparent.

If the kids are traveling great distances between homes, lock in travel arrangements as far in advance as possible, including setting expectations about who is paying for what and contingencies for inevitable travel complications.

Be flexible

While you’ll want to strive for consistency, life happens. With kids in the mix, life is rarely convenient. You probably already surrendered to this reality while you and your ex were together, so keep that attitude now that you’re apart.