Montana State University

Nonresidential Parents are Parents, Too

August 14, 2002 -- MSU-Bozeman News Service

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BOZEMAN--Children do better in life if both parents remain involved in their lives following divorce. And nonresidential parents--the parents that the children don't live with--are "single parents," too, says Sandy Bailey, Extension family specialist at Montana State University. Sometimes the special challenges that non-residential parents face are overlooked, but Bailey has written a new free publication that might help.

If you can't see your children on a daily basis, can't be there to help them with little everyday decisions, or sometimes miss out on school, church or other activities, you may find "Nonresidential Parenting After Divorce," useful. The four-page fact sheet has tips to help you offer the kind of consistency and reliability that every parent wants to provide, tells how residential parents can help their former spouse stay involved, and stresses how both parents can work together for their child's benefit. Also available at no charge is "Building Strong Single Parent Families," which contains parenting advice and tips that can apply to single parent families, or to any family that wants help forging a bright future.

The good news, says Bailey, is that there is not just one "right way" to raise a family. Happy families come in all shapes and sizes. And, over time, most adults and children adjust to divorce and lead happy fulfilling lives. Bailey also recommends the following websites for nonresidential parents:

Dads At A Distance http://www.daads.com/.

Moms Over Miles http://www.momsovermiles.com/.

You can ask for a free copy of "Nonresidential Parenting after Divorce," (MT200203HR); "Building Strong Single Parent Families" (MT200110HR) or other family resources from your local MSU Extension office, or download them at http://www.montana.edu/publications.

Contact: Sandy Bailey (406) 994-6745