The Impact of School Changes on Child Visitation Schedules
School schedules can change for a variety of reasons. If you have a visitation agreement with a co-parent in place, you may need to make changes to the agreement to accommodate changes in your child’s school schedule and extracurricular activities. Co-parents should agree on changes to parenting time (visitation) arrangements. Our San Diego family law attorney can help you create a flexible parenting time agreement that will work for you, your co-parent, and your child.
How Do Changes in School Schedules Occur?
As they get older, children spend more time in school. They advance from short days in preschool and kindergarten, to full school days, to longer days with extracurricular after-school activities. Schedules can also change when a child moves to a new school. During the school year, the schedule can vary for different reasons, including:
- Summer vacation
- School breaks (winter break and spring break)
- School holidays
- Parent teacher conference days
- School in service days
- Child’s extracurricular activities (games, practices, etc.)
How Do You Deal with School Changes and Visitation?
When a child’s schedule changes, co-parents must juggle their own work schedules with school schedules and parenting time. It is important to anticipate and plan for these changes. Proactive planning can help minimize disruptions in children’s lives and help maintain consistency in their schedules. You may need to agree on one schedule for standard school weeks and another for summer vacation and school holidays. As children grow and develop new interests, it is important to factor in their social lives and activities outside of school in making changes to a visitation agreement.
How Important Is Communication with Your Co-Parent?
When you are struggling to balance work, school, and visitation schedules, clear communication with your co-parent can make all the difference. Co-parents who are flexible, maintain communication, and work together amicably are better able to meet the growing needs of their children. They are also better equipped to adjust to major life changes, such as a new job or a change of residence. With advance planning and clear communication, things go smoother and parenting time is more consistent, which is important for the well-being of the child. Technology in the 21st century makes it easier for co-parents to communicate.
What Is the Impact of Distance on Child Visitation Schedules?
Location can make a difference in parenting time schedules. When co-parents live fairly close to each other, it can be feasible for both parents to spend time with the child throughout the week. Having households in closer proximity allows for overnight visits, if either parent takes the child to school. Scheduling visitation time can be more difficult when parents live further apart.
If distance is an issue, one solution may be to adjust drop-off and pick up times and locations. Depending on the circumstances, it may be necessary for the non-primary parent to spend less frequent but longer periods of time with the child. For example, if the non-primary parent loses time with the child because of distance during the school year, that time could be made up during school vacations and holidays.
How Can a San Diego Family Law Attorney Help?
As a child grows and progresses through school, parents can expect changes in different areas, including school schedules, extracurricular activities, and homework. It is important for both parents to be flexible and adaptable in child visitation schedules. If your co-parent is not cooperating, our San Diego family law attorney can help you resolve your differences outside of the courtroom.
Call Mattis Law, A.P.C. at (858) 328-4400. We have a proven track record in child custody, visitation, and family law matters.