Although it is not fun, divorced parents in New York need to spend time reevaluating their custody arrangement on a regular basis to make sure it is still working as it should for the child. The beginning of the school year is one time to look it over, as kid's schedules can change dramatically from one year to another. There are a number of considerations parents should take into account when deciding if changes need to be made and what they should be.
Huffington Post discusses three main things parents should consider before making any changes. These include:
- Realistic plan - what parents think is the best arrangement may not be when reality rears its head
- Open communication - are both parents able to communicate clearly and effectively in regard to the current schedule?
- Activities of the child - extracurricular and academic needs will change as the kids get older
If any of these considerations have changed, a new custody arrangement is probably warranted. Not exactly sure how to go about changing it? FindLaw recommends following a couple main principles. In regard to school days, consistency should be at the forefront of the final arrangement. Children need stability and routine, and keeping things consistent during the week and weekends will help tremendously. It also decreases confusion for the parents regarding who picks up or drops off on which days and the times.
Major holidays and other time off needs to also be a main factor. They should be planned as much in advance as possible, especially if one parent wants to take the child on a vacation. Holidays are hard enough for divorced families without the added stress of the unknown.