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How back-to-school can impact child custody

For Colorado parents who are in the midst of divorce, handling back-to-school time can be a challenge. The routines and schedules that existed before the split will no longer apply, and parents must work out a way to find a new normal in the middle of school and extracurricular demands. As with most child custody matters, parents who are able to work together to create and follow a plan will fare far better than those who become mired in contention.

A big part of planning for the kids returning to school is focused on scheduling. When does this child need to be dropped off? How will this one get to soccer practice after school? What about dance lessons, household chores, scouting, martial arts and all of the other activities that shape a child's school years?

Most parents create a parenting plan during their divorce negotiations. This plan outlines when each parent will have time with the child or children. Having a plan in place can make it easier to ensure that both parents have a chance to play a meaningful role in the life of a child. That said, there are numerous instances in which the plan will simply fail to accommodate the family's real-life needs. In those cases, parents must be flexible and cooperative.

Children need structure and routine, and that is what the best parenting plans provide. However, when there is a schedule change or a problem with getting a child where he or she needs to be for a school or extracurricular activity, parents need to be able to rely upon one another to adapt and meet those changing needs. At the end of the day, child custody arrangements are intended to focus on the needs of the child. To that end, Colorado parents who are willing to work together when a challenge arises are truly putting their children first.

Source:, "How to address back-to-school concerns for divorced parents | Your legal corner", Victoria Dalton, Aug. 22, 2015

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