As the primary custodial parent, summer can often be small bit of relief from handling all the needs of your children because they are with the non-custodial parent. School is getting ready to start or maybe even already started for your child(ren) and you may need to communicate with your co-parent a little more than usual. If you already have a child custody order, here are a few things to note as school approaches.
If your child(ren) need to be enrolled in a new school, review your order, and if necessary, speak to your attorney to determine whether you need to correspond with the non-custodial parent regarding what school the child(ren) will attend. “Joint legal custody” is a very broad term. You must have a clear understanding of which decisions you must make with the non-custodial parent and which decisions you have the authority to make on your own.
First Day of School
It is always a good idea to notify the non-custodial parent of important dates in advance, even if they do not explicitly ask for them. The first day of school is a very important day for children and when both parents can be present it benefits the child(ren). If the other parent can’t be present, maybe send them photos of the child’s experience that day. Being amicable with each other goes a long way.
Daily Schedule Changes
If there are changes to your schedule that will affect the child’s day or changes to the child’s schedule that will affect your schedule or the non-custodial parent’s custody visitation schedule, it is a good idea to notify the non-custodial parent as immediately as possible. This will allow you and the non-custodial parent to make new arrangements and changes to the schedule in advance and avoid potential conflicts later.
Again, review your child custody order to determine what actions you are required to take regarding enrolling the child in extracurricular activities. If the child(ren) plans to participate in extracurricular activities, notify the non-custodial parent in advance. At the point in which the child is on a team, in a class, involved in a club, etc. and they receive a schedule, provide it to the non-custodial parent. This is really important if the schedule is going to interfere with their custody visitation schedule. When possible, avoiding last-minute conflict and determining how to make up missed visits will save everyone inconvenience and stress down the line.
If you’d like more information on this topic please give us a call.