Determining how you’re going to divide child custody during the school year can be tough, especially if you and your ex-spouse are in the middle of a divorce and will need to raise your child as single parents.
Trying to split time with your child during the school year may mean that there are limited hours when visits are possible. Your work schedules may not line up with the school schedule, and you could find yourself having trouble putting together a custody arrangement that works.
What can you do to make school-year custody issues easier?
Developing a parenting plan for your school-aged child is a must. To start with, you need to get a copy of the school schedule including any school holidays or events. If your child will participate in extracurricular activities, get copies of those schedules as well.
You and your ex will need to sit down to talk about the schedule your child will be adhering to, first. For example, they may need to be at school from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and then have to remain at the school until 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for sports practice. You can write all of this down on a calendar to start with, so that you can start putting together your own schedules, too.
Now, you and the other parent need to look at your work schedule. Are you available after five every day? Who will take care of your child from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Which parent can get your child to school on time in the morning or be available to see them off on the school bus? How do you want to handle weekends? Which parent is closer to the school? These are all questions to start asking yourselves, so that you can build a schedule that has as much routine as possible while providing all the support needed.
Once you come up with a plan, you can submit it to the court for approval. If you cannot come up with an arrangement that you believe will work, then it may be worth writing out the schedule you want and submitting it to the court. A judge can hear the case and determine the best schedule for your child’s needs.