How to adjust to shared child custody during the school year

by | Jun 8, 2021 | Child Custody

By now, almost all schoolchildren in the Naperville area are on summer vacation. But summer goes by fast. In a few months, school will start again, with most (if not all) students planning on back to in-person learning this fall.

If you are getting divorced this summer, the 2021-22 school year could be your kids’ first time dealing with school while also living in a shared child custody arrangement. This will require adjustments for yourself, your ex, and most importantly, the children. Fortunately, by keeping your children’s schooling in mind when negotiating your parenting plan, you can make the transition easier and help your kids thrive in their education.

Two possible custody plans to help your kids in school

There are several options that allow you to share custody while still giving your kids stability so they can go to class, do their homework, and take part in extracurricular activities. One option is to have the children alternate weeks between your and your ex’s homes. This is a good option for older children who can better handle being away from one of their parents for an entire week. A twist on the week-to-week plan is to throw in a mid-week evening visit or overnight stay. For example, the child could be living with parent A for the week but have dinner (or spend the night) with parent B on Wednesday night, then vice versa the next week.

If that sounds like too much time apart from your kids, a 2-2-3 rotation might be a better fit. In this plan, the child might live with parent A on Sunday and Monday, go to parent B’s home for Tuesday and Wednesday, and then return to parent A’s custody for Thursday through Saturday. Then the parents switch the following week. Though your kids get to see both their parents more often, the frequent handoffs can be challenging. From a student’s perspective, their parents would need to live close together so that getting to school would be easy no matter which weekday it is.

Adapting child custody to your family

These are just a few examples of parenting schedules. Your family might adapt best to something else, like a 3-3-4-4 rotation. Your divorce attorney will go over your options with you and work toward a practical solution that will support your children’s education.