Preparing for Back-to-School: Modifying a Custody Schedule

Is Your Child's School Schedule Changing?

We are at that time of year again: back to school. While it used to be that Labor Day marked the return to school, more and more schools are going back in August and even in July. Consequently, parents must begin planning their school-year schedules sooner than ever. This planning can become quite complicated for divorced parents as they juggle work schedules, school schedules, and custody schedules.

Over time, as your children get older, their schedules may change drastically from what they were when you and your co-parent first separated. Additionally, if you separated when your children were very young, you may now be dealing with the transition from daycare and preschool to full school days, extracurricular activities, and after-school programs. So, how do you deal with this?

Depending on the circumstances of your children's schedule changes, you may need to reassess your visitation and/or custody schedule. Furthermore, you may also need to update your parenting plan to include how you and your co-parent will manage new activities and expenses.

A custody modification may be necessary if:

  • Your child is moving to a new school
  • Your child is now at school for longer periods
  • Your child has begun participating in sports or other extracurricular activities
  • You have to take your child to a different after-school program

All of these circumstances can change the day-to-day routines of your family. For example, the parent responsible for taking children to and from school may no longer be able to do so. Alternatively, an after-school obligation may necessitate the parents changing the night the children have a mid-week dinner with the other parent.

Modifying a Visitation Schedule in Colorado

If you, your co-parent, or your child have experienced a material change in circumstances that renders your current visitation or custody schedule inadequate, you may be able to seek a modification. When considering modification requests, the courts will consider a range of factors, but their primary goal is ensuring that the child's best interests are preserved. In addition to demonstrating that a modification is in the child's best interests, you will likely need to show that the change in circumstances is lasting and/or permanent.

We are often asked if registering a change with the court is necessary. Yes, it is. Even when you and your co-parent agree, it is crucial that you have the modification recognized by the court. This protects you and your co-parent from potentially being found in violation of your existing custody order.

Review our blog to learn more about how to petition for a visitation, parenting plan, or custody modification.

What Happens When Your Co-Parent Isn't Cooperative?

If you are in a situation where you or your child's circumstances have changed, but your co-parent doesn't want to modify your custody schedule, we recommend consulting with one of our family law attorneys. Dealing with a visitation or custody dispute can be challenging, but with the help of an attorney, you may be able to uncover options you weren't aware you had. Your attorney may also be able to help you resolve your dispute without going to court, such as through mediation.

To discuss your case with the Law Office of Alexandra White, PC, call us at (303) 647-4245 or send us a message online. All consultations are confidential, and we are standing by to help you and your family today.