Even though we are heading into summer vacation, now is the best time for parents to look ahead to the new school year. This is especially important for parents who have a child custody agreement for their children. There are sometimes changes that need to be made to the agreement that are based on the needs of the children.
There are some specific points that you need to look at when deciding if the agreement will last through the upcoming school year. Taking these one at a time can make it easier to decide what to do.
Think about how you and your ex communicated during the previous school year. If you have any concerns that might move into the new school year, you should address them now. Something as simple as confirming plans via text or a messaging app can ensure that your children have a parent there when they need one. In order to make things work, the communication will have to be mutual, respectful and open between both parents.
The base schedule
The parenting time schedule might have to change from one year to another. You have to think about the work schedule of each parent, as well as the school schedule and any extracurricular activities in which the child will participate. If you and your ex get along, you might consider using a more fluid schedule for the upcoming year. Being willing to be flexible can help to make the year a little easier.
Throughout the school year, there are bound to be special events. When these come up, a plan for handling things needs to be made. If it is already understood that both parents will attend these, make a clear rule that states the focus will remain on the children. Don't try to use the time to address issues that have come up.
Review the decision making points of the current event. You may not need to change anything about this, especially if the arrangement worked last year. Even if you don't have to make any adjustments, this is a good reminder of who handles what.
It is a good idea to remember that child custody agreements are always evolving. As the child grows up and the situation changes, the terms of the arrangement might need to follow suit.