Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Parenting Plan?
Its back to school season and many students are heading back for the first time as children of divorce. They may be starting a new school due to one parent’s relocation or shuttling back and forth between two households as part of a joint custody arrangement. While the freedom of summer makes custody splitting a bit easier, the structure and activity of the school year can quickly highlight any holes in the program.
A recent piece in the Huffington Post discusses the difficulties of managing custody and visitation schedules during the school year. The article suggests that separated parents take the challenges of the school year as an opportunity to reevaluate the custody agreement and determine whether changes are necessary. According the article, there are three major questions for consideration:
Are The Expectations Of The Plan Realistic?
The emotions of divorce and separation often drive your actions when fighting for child custody and visitation. This may lead you to ask for full custody just to spite the other party or out of fear of being without the children. While the arrangement may have worked in the long run, now is the time to determine whether it will work long term. When making that assessment, ask yourself some difficult questions. For example:
- – Are you able to pick up the children from school in the middle of your work day?
- – Would you really prefer to pay for after school care instead of allowing your former spouse to keep the children?
- – Most importantly, does your parenting plan reflect what is in the best interest of your child(ren) or does it reflect your contempt for your former partner?
Are Your Child’s Age and Needs Appropriately Handled?
Don’t forget that the needs and interests of your child can change over time. What was good for your child at the time of separation may not fit into your child’s current school year plans. As your son gets older, he may lose interest in Boy Scouts and instead pick up a basketball. Practice schedules may change, as well as the level of responsibility you must take on in support of your child. Medical needs can also change over time. Your child may develop a health condition that requires increased supervision. Developmental complications may require enrollment in a different school or the implementation of an specific instructional program, which requires regular meetings with teachers and school officials. Any of these changes can make a perfectly doable parenting plan completely impossible to implement.
Are You Able to Communicate with the Other Parent?
Some parenting plans are extremely flexible and require a significant amount of cooperation and planning between the parents. Evaluate your communication with the other parent and determine whether it is adequate to sustain the arrangement.
If you find that your parenting plan is no longer effective, you can ask the court to modify your order to better meet the needs of your children. The attorneys of Vanessa L. Prieto, LLC can assist you with the modification process. Located in Fort Lauderdale, our office serves Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties. Call the office today to schedule an appointment.