When parents divorce, one of the most important decisions is child custody. Child custody determines what rights and obligations parents have for the care of their children. Some of the decisions may include where children will live, their medical needs, education preferences and visitation times.
Visitation times can vary depending on the parent’s preferences. Parents can work out plans that allocate specific days and hours each parent is responsible for their children’s upbringing. These plans can work for a while, but they may need to be altered over time. Here are a few reasons a parenting schedule needs altered:
A child’s needs have changed
As children grow, their needs often change. These needs may be as simple as taking on after-school activities, staying up later, going to bed earlier or wanting to spend more time with one parent than the other. Some of these needs may need to be discussed between parents.
Children may also develop medical conditions that require new parenting schedules. A child’s health could deteriorate to the point that a parent would have to be constantly around for their care.
A parent’s work or school schedule has changed
Most custody schedules work around parent’s work and school hours. For example, one parent may need to pick their children up after work and return them once the other parent’s classes are over. Unfortunately, many parents can expect their work and school schedules to stay the same and respect their custody hours. When a parent’s work or schedule has changed, so might a custody schedule.
It’s often important for parents to discuss in detail how their custody schedule works. Parents who understand their legal options may have a more favorable custody schedule.