The summer months could mean a variety of things for kids. For many, it is three months to enjoy the outdoors. For others, it might mean being involved with various activities, sports, camps and even summer school. Because a child’s schedule could deviate greatly during the summer, divorced parents will likely have to adjust their custody arrangement. As children get older, it is likely that their schedule during the school year will vary each coming year as well.
Do you need to alter child custody arrangements each school year? While it is not imperative to make small adjustments each year, it is important that the agreement reflects the parenting time received by each parent and works effectively with the child’s schedule.
Although it is common to have two basic schedules – one during the school year and one for holidays and school vacations – divorced parents could go through changes that require major adjustments and modifications. Thus, it is important to consider the following three questions when it comes to adjusting your current child custody order.
First, ask yourself if the current parenting time plan afforded by the order reflects realistic expectations. If this is a recent divorce, it is possible that the custody arrangement was based on emotions or grudges. Such a situation could lead to an unrealistic custody order, and now that some time has passed it is critical to devise a more realistic custody agreement.
Next, you should ask yourself whether the custody agreement reflects your child’s current age, activities and needs. As a child gets older interests will change, and it is likely that the child will want to be involved in more or different activities. Therefore, a custody agreement should be adjust to reflect that.
Lastly, you should ask yourself if you and your former spouse are able to maintain communication. If you are able to talk amicably and work together, this is a great way for divorced parents to continually work together to meet the growing and changing needs of the child. Additionally, this could help with any major changes in a parent’s life, such as a job change or a major move.
Although child custody modifications could occur at any time, summer vacation is a great timeframe for divorced parents to consider whether a current custody order is working and whether any changes need to be made before the start of the new school year. If you are dealing with any custody or family law issues, it is important that you understand your rights.
Source: Huffington Post, “Back to School: 3 Ways To Tell If Your Child Custody Agreement Is The Right Fit,” Bari Zeli Weinberger, Sept. 1, 2015