After a divorce, many California parents deal with co-parenting plans that adjust as children return to school in the fall. However, the academic and extracurricular activities of a child could conflict with a well-defined parenting arrangement. Although flexibility might be built into such an agreement, it may be necessary to make adjustments if conflicts arise.
Some of the most important issues in approaching a new school year, especially with a new parenting plan, are the developmental needs of one's child and the realities of their schedule. As a child's interests and needs change, parents may need to be willing to adjust, allowing parenting time to be altered to ensure that a youngster can attend practices, games, tutoring sessions, or other events that are important to them. Similarly, a parent will need to be willing to make adjustments if significant changes occur in their own life. Extended hours at work, for example, could interfere with parenting time, and trying to continue with a parenting schedule that doesn't fit one's hours could lead to frustration on all sides.
Communication is crucial for making necessary adjustments without creating a negative environment for a child. It is important to leave emotion out of the picture as arrangements are made and confirmed. It is also important to note that giving up parenting time on a regular basis or failing to communicate changes that may interfere with a schedule could backfire in court if the other party seeks a permanent modification based on those patterns.
An individual who experiences a major life change that will affect a parenting schedule may want to seek a custody modification. This might occur cooperatively, but if the other party is unwilling to make any official adjustments, the matter could be taken to court. A lawyer may be helpful in handling a request for modification in either case.