Custody, Visitation, and the New School Year

Back to school season can be stressful for any parent. But when you’re co-parenting your child, your responsibilities can become more complex. Your child’s schedule will change, and you might need to rework some agreements with the other parent. Here are some tips to help you do so efficiently and without conflict.

Keep your child’s best interests in mind at all times. Back to school season is stressful for some children. It’s also a time of a lot of changes, no matter your child’s age. Try to minimize the changes to your custody and visitation agreements. Consider working with a parenting coordinator to minimize conflict and disruptions to your child’s life.

Communicate with the other parent. Open the lines of communication, so you are both on the same page about back to school shopping, homework, and school activities. You might need to talk more frequently until your child gets used to his or her new routine.

Commit to teamwork. Work together—to the extent that you can—on helping your child adjust to the new school year. This is especially important when it comes to visitation. Find a way to ensure your child gets regular visitation, which is important during a time of change.

Be flexible. You don’t have to follow the parenting plan or visitation schedule line by line if circumstances require a deviation. Instead, always act in your child’s best interests, which sometimes means being flexible on exchange times, being patient when those times need to change and keeping a calm demeanor whenever you are around your child.

With your child heading back to school, you might have a lot on your plate, which can breed conflict between you and the other parent. If you foresee complications or if your child’s needs have changed, consider speaking with an attorney about modifications. If circumstances have changed and the above tips don’t fully address your problems, you can ask the court to modify your parenting plan or custody order. Examples of circumstances under which modifications are warranted include you or the other parent moving out of state, your child is getting older and wants to be free to live and spend time where he or she wants, or your child is moving away for school.

Regardless of whether you decide to ask for a modification, talking with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney can help you face the back to school season with confidence knowing your rights and your child’s best interests are protected.

Do you have questions about custody and visitation? The attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you obtain a custody and visitation order that is in your child’s best interests. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 738-8734, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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