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Making a child custody schedule work during the school year

It's back-to-school time in Ohio, and as summer break winds down, parents and kids are preparing for the new school year. For children whose parents are divorced, reviewing their child custody and visitation orders are just one of the steps they will need to take to ensure that they set their child up for success during the school year.

Physical custody arrangements during the summer may be different than those during the school year. While sometimes a child spends extended time with one parent during the summer, during the school year parents might share a different custody arrangement. It is important to review who has the child during the school week, on weekends and on holidays to ensure a child custody transfer runs smoothly and that the child has what they need for school at both households. Parents should also discuss what the rules will be at their home when it comes to homework, bedtime and other aspects of parenting, so they are on the same page.

Children need stability, especially during the school year. Parents should ensure they can meet the child's needs based on their child's age, including what after-school activities the child has, whether child care is needed after school and how far away they live from their child's school. If any changes need to be made to a parenting plan, parents may need to turn to the court for an official, binding modification.

In addition, many schools ask parents to state who can pick the child up from school. Parents should make sure they are on the same page regarding who can pick the child up from school at the end of the day or if the child gets sick. They should determine who the primary contact person should be for the child during the school year and ensure that the school knows what these arrangements are. They can also ask teachers to ensure that important notes are sent to both parents, rather than just one parent.

A new school year is exciting for a child, but it is important for divorced parents to ensure they can support their child in their child's academic endeavors. This involves a certain amount of cooperation and communication with one another. In the end, any custody arrangements should be in the best interests of the child, so the child is set up for academic success.

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