Addressing Back-to School Concerns as a Divorced Parent

As the divorced parents of a young child, you do not have to worry about matters like school schedules, recreational activities, and back to school supplies. However, eventually your child will be in grade school, and once he or she is, your parenting schedule and your parenting rights will change. If this is the year that your child enters kindergarten, you are in for some big changes. However, with the help of a Dallas custody attorney, hopefully those changes will be for the better.

Establish a School Schedule

At the Clark Law Group, we recommend that parents discuss a school parenting schedule before the divorce is final, even if the child is still an infant at that point. While situations may change over the course of five years (and they likely will), having a template in place for what you want for your child will help you to establish a better arrangement when it is actually necessary.

Coming Up With a Reasonable Visitation Schedule

Traditionally, the young child of divorced parents spends equal days and nights with both Mom and Dad each week. However, once the child becomes of school age, such an arrangement might not make sense. As children grow older, they have more school obligations, partake in more extracurricular activities, and are, in general, busier. Going back and forth may not only not make sense, but also, it may not be in the child’s best interests. Your child will already have enough to worry about with school, sports, and after school activities without having the added complications of where he or she will spend the night each night. To make things easier on your child, the judge might establish a schedule in which one parent gets the child every weekday and every other weekend, and then one week on and one week off during the summer. Unfortunately, the parent that receives the lesser amount of time may end up being you.

How to Prove to the Judge That You Deserve More Custody

While there is no formula to use to win the role of custodial parent, there is one thing you can do to increase your chances of being the parent your child goes home to after school each day: prove to the judge that living with you is in the child’s best interests. If you live a block from your child’s school, let the judge know. If you work a flexible job that allows you to attend all the school functions, get your child to and from soccer practice on time, and help out with homework on a nightly basis, say so. While you may not necessarily believe that you are a better parent than your child’s other parent, if you believe that it makes more sense for the child to live with you during the school year, do not be afraid to fight for custodial rights by informing the judge of your better attributes.

If the judge is determined to give the other parent more custody, try reasoning with him or her by requesting 50/50. Again, let the judge why 50/50 is in your child’s best interests, and what you and your former spouse are willing to do to make the arrangement work.

Work With a Compassionate Dallas Child Custody Attorney

When your child enters school for the first time, it is going to mean big changes—for them and for you. If you want to be there as much as possible to see your child change and grow, and to watch them develop into young, independent people, reach out to the knowledgeable Dallas custody attorneys at the Clark Law Group to see how we can make that happen.

(image courtesy of Aaron Burden)

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