A new school year often serves as a “refresh” on the calendar. Back-to-school is a great time to think about whether your custody agreement reflects your children’s changing needs. If it doesn’t, it may be time to consider a modification of your parenting plan. Important things to think about include:
- Where do the children attend school relative to where each parent lives – in other words, can both parents get the children to school easily regardless of where the children have spent the night?
- What extracurricular activities do the children participate in, and what transportation is needed?
- How are the extracurricular/sports expenses paid for?
All these factors affect what type of parenting plan is necessary – what may have worked for your family when your children were in elementary school may no longer hold up to the rigors of middle school and high school. And, if the parenting schedule is changing, you need think about whether the current child support order, and any order for payment for extracurricular activities needs to be adjusted, too. It’s important to take stock and review your parenting plan with your co-parent. If your current plan meets the children’s needs, then all is well for another year. If the plan does not meet these needs, then you need to modify the plan, whether by filing a joint agreement or by filing a Complaint for Modification. For a successful Complaint for Modification, you must be able to show a clear and substantial change in circumstances from the date of the last agreement, and that the changes you’re requesting are in your child’s best interests..
If your parenting plan no longer meets your needs, let’s discuss how we can help you move forward with a modification.