As your kids get older, one thing that you may want to do is to look into your custody plan again. A modification of your custody plan could be essential if you're starting to find that your current plan isn't taking all of your children's activities or interests into account.
For example, when you first set up the custody schedule, you may have started with three days at your home and four at the other parent's. Your children rotated back and forth, bringing their toys and clothing with them.
That worked while they were young and before they entered school, but now that they're going to elementary school, it could be problematic. Going back and forth is more difficult, and time is limited. That's not to mention the fact that your ex-spouse doesn't live in the school district. As a result, he ends up driving the kids to school every day, which adds over an hour of time in the car onto each of their days.
When is it time to revisit a custody schedule?
It may be time to revisit your children's custody schedule if:
- You or your ex-spouse change jobs or are put on different schedules for work
- Your children aren't coping well with traveling back and forth
- Your children are attending a school that is far from one parent's home
- Your children have aged and expressed that they don't like the current schedule
- You're finding you need babysitters more often than usual due to work or other conflicts
Do you have to go to court if you want to change a custody schedule?
The good news is that you may not need to go to court to change your custody schedule if you and your ex-spouse can agree on a new schedule that will work for you. For example, if your ex-spouse is comfortable taking weekends and having you keep your children through the week due to the distance to their school, that could make it easier to adjust to their learning needs. If your ex-spouse feels that they don't want the schedule to change, they may suggest other solutions, such as moving closer or keeping the schedule through the end of the school year and switching it up in the summer.
If you cannot come up with a good solution for your problems, then you may have to go before a judge and seek a modification.