Published on August 22, 2017

As parents settle into the back-to-school rhythm, some will have a more challenging time than others. It can take some time to adjust after a divorce, as parents learn to share the responsibilities of their children’s school and extracurricular activities. No matter how detailed or “fair” one’s child custody agreement may be, there will always be times when it’s necessary to make changes, and back-to-school season is a prime example.

Parenting plans are negotiated during a divorce to serve two purposes:

  1. To benefit children by allowing them to have time with both parents and to help them bond with the parent that they might not see as often.
  2. To give parents the chance to spend time with their children and be at ease, knowing when they get to care for their kids in advance.

That said, the school year is hectic and full of scheduling changes, many of which are completely outside a parent’s control. Often, children’s academic demands become increasingly more complex, involving numerous after school activities — such as clubs, sports or tutoring. Parents must be willing to set aside concerns over whose “day” it is and step up to make sure their children’s interests are put first.

The process differs for every Virginia family. Sometimes, parents will have to strive to keep up with their children’s busy schedules. For example, one parent may need to ferry their child back and forth from band practice, while the other parent may need to sit with their child during a school play. Or now and again, one parent may lose coveted time with their child due to a weekend sporting event. In cases like these, the other parent should try to make adjustments for the lost time in weeks to come. By placing their kids at the forefront of child custody decisions, parents can often work together in a collaborative effort to meet their children’s needs.