On behalf of John Dorris of Dorris Law Group posted in Child Custody on Tuesday, September 15, 2015.

When two parents in Arizona go through a divorce, it is very important for them to have a realistic parenting plan if they are sharing custody. If parents demand more parenting time than they can actually handle with their work commitments, the result can be a hectic schedule that is not in the child’s best interest.

Once the school year begins, co-parenting families’ schedules change drastically, and parenting plans may need to be updated to accommodate school and extracurricular activities. As the school year progresses, children may decide to join a sports team, or they might require after-school tutoring. These kinds of schedule changes could result in a parenting plan becoming unworkable. Because a parenting plan is legally binding, it’s much easier to anticipate scheduling issues ahead of time and work them into the plan than to go to court each time the plan needs to be changed.

During the school year, it’s important for divorced parents who are sharing custody to stay in regular communication with each other. Coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs can be much simpler if parents are comfortable sending simple text messages back and forth. Some co-parenting families use divorce apps that include shared calendars and other information to facilitate smooth transitions.

A family law attorney may be able to represent a parent who is working out a parenting plan with the other parent. Legal counsel may be able to help ensure that the parenting plan is detailed and takes potential scheduling conflicts into account. If changes need to be made to an existing parenting plan, an attorney may be able to help a parent petition the court for an order modification.