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3 back-to-school custody issues of which parents should be aware

In the coming weeks, kids across New Jersey will be starting a brand new school year. If you share custody of your child or have primary custody, you can expect certain things to change once your kids start a new school year.

Below, we examine a few critical changes that could arise this fall and what you can do to prevent them from causing serious disputes or jeopardizing your child's well-being.

Changes in parenting time

When kids go back to school, custody arrangements might change, depending on how and if you addressed back-to-school transitions in your parenting plan. Review your parenting plan and be sure you understand when your child will be with you as well as when you will need to exchange custody. Further, talk to your child about the changes to clear up any confusion he or she may have.

Concerns about access to a child

During the summer, you might have had far more control over who had access to your child. If the other parent of your child is not to have contact with him or her outside of regular parenting time or supervised visits, inform school administrators about these limitations. Make sure they know whom they should and can contact regarding your issues with your child.

Parental attendance at school activities

You and the other parent may find yourselves at band concerts, teacher conferences and soccer games at the same time. As long as this is in line with your parenting plan, try to stay focused on supporting your child, and not the other parent. If possible, minimize any interaction if it might spark a dispute and try to avoid stirring up drama that could make your child feel embarrassed or hurt.

Above all, you will want to be sure you and the other parent are in compliance with custody orders. The details of a parenting plan may change when kids go back to school, but it is critical that everyone abide by them. If this does not happen, a parent may need to take legal action to enforce the order or seek a modification.

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