There are many parents in Wisconsin who have been preparing for divorce proceedings this summer. If you’re one of them, you may have concerns regarding the upcoming school year. For example, have you and your ex discussed who will be financially responsible for school supplies? This is just one of numerous child custody issues that can spark stress and legal disputes if you do not implement a detailed and solid agreement.
The good news is that you can customize your child custody agreement to fit your family’s needs. By thinking ahead to all the events and situations that may occur during the school year, you can reduce the chances for confusion or disagreements. The court always has children’s best interests in mind when making custody decisions and can enforce its orders if you craft a solid plan and your ex disregards it.
Contact information and decision-making authority
You’ll want to make sure that your child’s school has your contact information, as well as your ex’s, on record. However, it can help avoid confusion, miscommunication and disputes if you decide ahead of time which parent will be the primary liaison for school issues, such as parent/teacher conferences, the school lunch bill, extracurricular activities, health concerns and other matters.
If you and your ex share legal custody, you cannot make decisions on behalf of your child without consulting each other. On the other hand, you might request sole legal custody, which, if the court grants your request, gives you ultimate authority to make decisions without your ex’s approval.
Use technology to your advantage for child custody issues
Divorce disrupts children’s lives, but it doesn’t necessarily have to cause excessive stress during back-to-school season. There are many cell phone apps and online tools that can help you avoid problems, especially regarding special events and your child’s daily schedule. Discuss the school year before the first day to determine which parent will attend which events, and then use a phone app or other resource to create a digital schedule that all family members can access.
A child custody order protects children’s interests in a divorce. If, for instance, your back-to-school plan states that only you or your ex may pick up or drop off your kids at school, and your ex sends a new romantic partner to get them, you can use your custody agreement as leverage to seek the court’s intervention. If necessary, a judge can hold a parent in contempt of court for disobeying a court order.