Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

There are 13 million single parents in the United States.

A non-custodial parent may find it difficult to bond with their children after a divorce when they’re stuck being a weekend dad or mom.

If you’re one of these parents struggling to re-connect with your children, then keep reading. We’ve created a list of some of the most important responsibilities that will help you be the best parent you can be.

Maintain Communication

It’s crucial for non-custodial parents to adhere to the visit schedule set by the court.

However, that doesn’t mean weekends are the only time to talk to your kids. Maintaining an open channel with your children will help to develop trust.

This is especially important if you’re unable to make it for your visit or even if you’re just running late. Explain the situation to your children and give them the courtesy of being honest with them.

Put Your Child’s Interests First

Divorce affects everybody, including your children. But, being young, they need more guidance through the process to find a new normal.

As a weekend parent, always take the time to think about how a decision may affect your children before you make it. The bigger the decision, the more time you should spend considering your children.

Something obvious, but we’ll say it anyway, is that you must always ensure your children have a safe place to stay and food to eat during their visits with you.

Plan Your Visits in Advance

There’s nothing wrong with staying in and watching movies with your kids all weekend. But you should also make sure you do have activities ready for you and your kids to do together.

Your children have been waiting for the whole week to spend some quality time with you. Prepare games to play, go to the park, or visit the zoo. Find things you both will enjoy.

Something as simple as a home-cooked meal shows you care about your kids and that they’re special to you.

Pay Child Support and Extra Expenses

Don’t be a dead-beat dad or mom. Pay child support and help out with other expenses as often as you can. If you’re struggling to come to an agreement about this, read more about getting a lawyer to help with this.

Remember what we said before about putting your children’s interests first. It’s not about the money; it’s about supporting your children and providing for their needs.

For example, if your child wants to get a special gift for Grandma this year, you can opt to help them do just that.

Get Involved in Your Children’s Activities

There is nothing more discouraging to kids than having a parent that doesn’t support them.

As weekend dad or mom, it’s extra important to get involved in your children’s activities. Go to their school play, their soccer games, and their dance recitals. If it’s important to them, it should be important to you.

Are You a Weekend Dad or Mom That Still Needs a Divorce?

Now you know the responsibilities of a weekend dad or mom. As you can see, it’s essential to understand these responsibilities and fulfill them.

If you and your partner live in Florida and have decided to part ways, a simplified divorce may work for you. This is an inexpensive way of ending a marriage and can be quick as well.