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. Before you make any decisions, it is important to speak with a seasoned New York divorce lawyer.
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.
At New York Family Law Group, we help parents going through divorce develop plans that anticipate tough decisions such as adjustments to parenting time schedules. In this blog post, we want to share just a few things to keep in mind if you are considering a change.
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.
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.
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.
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 (718)-293-1542 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.