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Will your custody agreement survive the school year?

As students in Norman prepare to head back to school next week, it's a good time for divorced parents to review their custody agreements and determine whether some changes may be in order.

If the divorce occurred fairly recently, some custody decisions may have been made in haste when emotions were running high. If the parties have managed to carve out a more civil relationship since, it may be possible to approach the agreement with less acrimony. Custodial parents may discover they are less threatened now by a mid-week overnight visitation between the kids and the non-custodial parent.

Sometimes a custodial parent can find their parenting schedule leaves them with little time for outside interests or even work activities in the evenings or on weekends. They may welcome the kids spending a few more days and nights a month with their mom or dad.

As the kids grow up and develop more extracurricular activities and interests, they may no longer be content with restrictive visitation schedules that are not flexible enough to accommodate their diverse schedules.

Keep in mind that custody arrangements that worked fine when the kids were 6 and 7 are suffering growing pains as the children transition to junior high school and beyond.

Some parents can handle these changes informally between them, but that approach carries risks. Should relationships between the former spouses deteriorate for any reason, the switched and missed visitation opportunities could be used against them and misinterpreted by the court.

If changes need to be made, it's better for both parties to agree to petition the court for a parenting plan modification. With everyone on the same page, no one will feel as if they wound up with a raw deal from the court or an ex.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Back to School: 3 Ways To Tell If Your Child Custody Agreement Is The Right Fit," Bari Zell Weinberger, Esq., accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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