Back To School Tips For Parents With Summer Child Custody Schedules
Back to School Tips for Parents With Summer Child Custody Schedules
As summer draws to a close and parents get mentally prepared to once again have the kids ready for school early in the morning there are a handful of things that parents who have summer child custody time-sharing schedules of a child will need to keep in mind.
Communication is Always Key Between Parents When Kids Come Home From Visitation
Many multi-home families, where mom and dad live separately, exercise a different visitation schedule during the summer with the children than they do throughout the regular school year. on average the parent who’s home is primary during the school year will typically be ordered to receive the child at least one week before school returns to session. for this reason it will be important to get into contact with the other parent well ahead of time to set up a day and time to meet to exchange the child.
This communication is important because one should never assume that the other parent is watching the calendar the same way you are and it is not ideal to get a call only hours before an exchange to find out that a parent has to have the child packed and ready unexpectedly.
While communication between the parents is important, it is also very important at this point to make sure that mom and dad are on the same page as far as to the child’s bedtime on school night. Doing this will make sure that everyone is aware of this will guarantee that the other parent does not miss out on contact with the child by calling after the child’s bedtime.
Long Distance Child Visitation Considerations
Very often, when a child has traveled a long distance to spend summer time-sharing with the other parent, there will be the need for airline tickets to be purchased or other logistical plans to be made. Parents in this situation will need to keep in mind that airline tickets are always much more expensive if the parents wait until the last moment to purchase them. This coupled with the fact that most parents will split the cost of travel for long distance time-sharing it is usually in everyone’s best interests to make these plans as far in advance as possible.
In some situations one parent will be ordered to pay the full cost of travel and in this situation it is the responsibility of the other non-paying parent to cooperate fully with all planning for travel to minimize the costs to the other parent.
“Parents have to communicate with each other for the back to school process to be smooth” – Sean Smallwood, ESQ.
Schools Have Requirements That Parents Need to Follow
Most children in elementary school will have received a list of school supplies which need to be purchased and delivered to the child’s classroom prior to the first day of school and parents will not want to forget to contact the child’s school to set up a drop off of supplies. Very often the other parent, if given the option, will be willing to contribute to purchasing the required school supplies and in many cases it will be important to give that parent an opportunity to be a part of the back to school preparations.
The same points stated above for school supplies also applies to school uniforms. a very common occurrence these days is for public schools to have set school uniforms or strictly enforced dress codes which require parents to purchase new clothes for kids returning to school. This is another great opportunity to reach out to the other parent to have both parents contributing and playing a part in the back to school process.
Most schools will also have dates and times set up for back to school orientation where parents have an opportunity to meet teachers, get schedules, and drop off school supplies especially in elementary and middle schools. Parents should always make sure that the other parent is aware of orientation and has an opportunity to attend and take part in the process.
What if Something Goes Wrong?
Unfortunately, back to school can also be a time where parents fight, file pleadings with the court, or even try to withhold a child from returning to the other parent. in a situation where a parent refuses to return a child after summer time-sharing it is important to remember that most courts will require a very strong showing as to why the court ordered schedule and the child’s return to school should be upset. Any parent refusing to return a child who does not satisfy the court as to why the child was not returned may face orders for the child’s return, findings of contempt of court, orders for makeup time to the other parent, and more.
Sean Smallwood is an Orlando divorce attorney for the law firm Sean Smallwood, Orlando Divorce & Family Law P.A. where he represents clients in all areas of family law and divorce. 100% of the practice is devoted to family law. As an attorney in Orlando, he has helped many families with a wide variety of family law cases including Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, and many other issues.