Altering child custody arrangements during the school year

Nov 18 2016 - Posted by , in Collaborative Law

A child’s best interests evolve as that child grows. As a result, specific family circumstances that may have once served a child’s best interests beautifully may no longer do so once a child enters a new phase of development.

If your co-parenting situation is no longer structured in a way that best reflects your child’s developmental needs, you may be thinking about altering that situation. Unfortunately, there is no perfect time to alter one’s parenting agreement. But fortunately, there are steps one can take to amend a parenting agreement in healthy ways no matter when that transition needs to be made.

Altering your parenting agreement

If you are thinking about altering your parenting plan at any time in the foreseeable future, you will be compelled to navigate that process during the school year. Altering parenting time during the school year presents unique challenges, regardless of whether your child’s academic circumstances will be explicitly affected by the changes.

Any significant disruption to a child’s regular family routine can have academic, social and home life consequences. This is why it is so important for you to discuss any potential changes with an experienced attorney. That attorney will be able to give you valuable insight as to how certain changes may affect your child and the structure of your parenting plan overall.

Ideally, you and your co-parent will be able to start the alteration process on the same page. Although an experienced attorney will be able to aid you in a contentious alteration process if one is necessary for your child’s wellbeing, a parenting agreement tends to be the most effective when both parents are invested in making it work.

Looking forward

When altering your parenting agreement, it is generally a good idea to keep the future in mind. Your child’s needs will continue to evolve over time, as will the needs of your family and your co-parent’s family. If you and your co-parent keep this reality in mind as you finalize changes to your parenting agreement, you will place yourself in the best possible position to alter your agreement with minimal negative consequences and perhaps omit the need for further alterations to your parenting agreement in future.

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