The school year is finishing its first month and now is a good time for you to review how well your parenting plan is functioning in real-world conditions. Perhaps your divorce was finalized over the summer or your oldest child began school for the first time.
It might even be the case that you and your children have had experience with your parenting plan during prior school years, but this year may have witnessed your child moving from elementary school to middle school. All of these situations could have an impact on how well your parenting plan works.
Because no matter how strongly you pushed for certain aspects of your custody arrangement, with a month’s experience of having to see to it that your child gets off to school every morning with a lunch packed or lunch money, can be more of a challenge than you may have foreseen.
Or it could be that your child is now involved in afterschool drama, music or sports at school, meaning your pickup times are changed. This may make it easier or more convoluted. Changes to your job could also complicate matters. If you suddenly have a 4:00 management meeting that you must attend, you will need to deal with that in your parenting plan schedule.
You and your former spouse must be able to cooperate and maintain civil, neutral communication. But even with good communication, if the other spouse is habitually late for pickups and exchanges, it will quickly become an irritant that can have far-reaching implications for your child.
If some element of your parent plan simply is not working, it is better to work with your former spouse and then discuss with an attorney how to submit a modification to the court for approval.
Even if you and your former spouse are amenable to changing schedules, it is important that those changes be formalized in your plan. Failure to do so could leave you at risk of being found in violation of your plan, should problems later develop.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Back to School: 3 Ways To Tell If Your Child Custody Agreement Is The Right Fit,” Bari Zell Weinberger, September 1, 2015