Child Custody

Should Our Parenting Time Schedule Be Adjusted During The School Year?

Last updated on September 18, 2023

As kids grow, they need adequate time to bond with friends, spend time with family members and make room for their evolving lifestyles. As kids enter a new school year, divorced parents may need to reconsider their parenting time arrangement in order to accommodate extracurricular activities and school schedules. 

Co-parenting almost always presents tough challenges, even when both parents are on the same page. It can be difficult to know what is best for a child, and how changing a parenting plan can impact their wellbeing.

Before making any decisions, it is crucial to seek advice from an experienced New York child custody lawyer. At New York Family Law Group, we have experience assisting parents navigating divorce and developing comprehensive plans, including child custody arrangements and parenting time schedules. We can also assist in modifying or changing an existing child custody order to accommodate changing circumstances. Schedule a free consultation by contacting us at (347) 212-5113.

Rules for Relocating with Children in New York

A judge must first determine if the move is in the best interests of the children before allowing a parent to embark on relocating with them. This would include creating an access schedule that allows for the same quality time that the noncustodial parent and the children enjoyed before the move. 

If the children travel far enough that the original parenting plan is impossible, the non-custodial parent might be allowed to spend longer time with the children, although less frequently. For example, two weeks in summer vacation or winter vacation.

If the other parent does not agree to the move, a parent cannot relocate with their children without permission from the court. You must immediately contact your attorney if you find out that your ex-spouse plans to move without permission from the court. The court will generally hold a hearing to decide if the move is in your child’s best interests.

You must notify your attorney immediately if you find out that the move was made after the fact. They can then file a petition to bring the children back to New York. There are interstate compacts available that can facilitate this process. However, it is important to act quickly in order to move the process forward.

New York Family Law Group understands that you care about your children and that regular, frequent, and extensive access to both parents after a divorce is beneficial for them. Our attorneys will quickly and decisively ensure that you are a vital part of your children’s lives. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Rules for Relocating with Children in New York Description Action
Determining Best Interests A judge must determine if the move is in the best interests of the children. Create an access schedule that allows for quality time between the noncustodial parent and children.
Modifying Parenting Plan If the move makes the original parenting plan impossible, the non-custodial parent might have longer but less frequent visits. Allow extended visitation periods, e.g., two weeks during summer or winter vacations.
Need for Court Permission A parent cannot relocate with their children without permission from the court if the other parent does not agree. Contact your attorney and seek court permission before relocating.

Maintaining Equal Access Is Essential

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on good terms with your ex-spouse or not; a parenting time schedule should be consistent throughout the school year. This creates stability and establishes clear expectations for what each week will bring. However, it is equally important to maintain equal access to both parents. Whether time is split between weekdays, weekends, or vacations, your child has a right to time with you and their other parent.

New York child custody lawyer

Your Child’s Schedule

A good parenting time schedule should not interfere with the child’s routine. For instance, if your child has a camping trip one weekend, you can forego the exchange until the next weekend. Understand that your child needs to hang out with friends, do their homework, and participate in extracurricular activities. While it is important to spend time with your child, it is also important for your child to spend time with their peers, pursue their interests, and participate in hobbies that encourage their personal development.

60/40 vs 50/50 Custody

When married partners decide to part ways and share child custody, a 50/50 schedule is frequently suggested as a balanced solution. However, alternating weeks between parents may pose difficulties for the child. For this reason, alternative arrangements like the 2-2-3 or 3-4-4-3 schedules can be more fitting, particularly for younger children. The 2-2-3 schedule allows the child to spend two days with each parent, followed by three days with one of them, in a continuous cycle. The 3-4-4-3 model, on the other hand, involves the child staying three days with one parent, then four days with the other, switching weekly. These modifications guarantee regular interaction with both parents while ensuring the child’s consistent and stable environment.

Another alternative to the standard 50/50 parenting schedule is the 60/40 custody arrangement. With this plan, your child spends the week with you, and if there’s an extended weekend, your ex-partner will have the child for that entire duration. The 5-2 schedule is another potential option, where the child stays with one parent for five days and then with the other for two days.

Regardless of the schedule you choose, it’s crucial to recognize that custody arrangements should be made considering the unique circumstances of each family. It’s recommended to seek counsel from a New York child custody attorney who can offer guidance. By consulting the New York Family Law Group, you can receive guidance in exploring different schedule options and obtain assistance in crafting a custody arrangement that is ideally suited to your family’s requirements.

Your Kid’s Ability to Adapt

Your child could have difficulties adapting to the change or may struggle to switch between the two homes. Make a lenient schedule if you notice your kid struggles with the exchanges and observe how changes in parenting time are affecting their mood, behavior, or performance at school.

Distance Between Parents’ Homes

The distance your child has to travel for an exchange is something you should consider. If you live near your ex-spouse, you may have more opportunities to adjust the parenting time schedule. If the distance traveled for exchange is long, you have limited options for adjusting your schedule. You also need to consider the travel time from your house or your ex-spouse’s home to school or any other place your children spend their time.

Hiring A New York Child Custody Attorney Today

Achieving a reliable child custody agreement isn’t a walk in the park. At New York Family Law Group, our experienced child custody attorneys will help you create a flexible parenting time schedule to suit your child and co-parent. Please give us a call at (347) 212-5113 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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