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3 tips for child custody success during the school year

Stores are already stocking up on backpacks, notebooks and pencils. The school year is just around the corner. This is a good time to take a moment to review the child custody plan and make sure it is set up to help the child or children succeed during the school year. This is true both for parents who are already in a shared custody agreement as well as those who are going through a divorce and just structuring such agreements.

Three of the top areas to review include time commitments, communication options and taking a moment to address any needed adjustments.

Time commitments

Review the schedule that was agreed upon during the divorce proceeding or the one currently under consideration. Joint agreements often have kids spending half the week with one parent and half with the other. The days may flip from week to week and the weekends often alternate.

Look at your child's obligations.

Are there extracurricular engagements this school year? Can you transport the child to these activities or do you need to make other arrangements? Start putting together a plan now to better ensure a successful transition from summertime fun to school year prep.

Communication options

Review your plan to communicate any schedule changes with your ex. Communication can be less important during the summertime, as obligations are often a bit more fluid. This is generally not true during the school year. As a result, it is important to keep communication open about homework, sporting events, music recitals and other obligations during the school year.

In this day and age, there are many options for communicating with an ex. Some prefer face to face conversation. Others find a Google calendar or other electronic calendar can help mitigate any potential conflict while still ensuring scheduling issues are addressed.

Needed adjustments

In some cases, a review may result in the realization that it may be best to adjust the plan. This is referred to as a modification. Parents that agree upon changes can file a custody modification by consent agreement with the court. If an agreement is not likely, a petition for modification can be sought.

Taking the time to review these steps is important. A successful custody arrangement is not easy; both parents must put in the effort to make it successful. Although it takes work, shared child custody plans can help children adjust to a new family structure and ease the shift from one household to two.

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Hecht Family Law
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