It's getting to be that time again folks. Yes, the dreaded "back to school" time. Personally I think I dread it more than my children!
I've been doing family law exclusively for about ten (10) years and I've started to see patterns. Things are much quieter and calmer in the summer (litigation is greatly reduced) but the return of the school year brings a flurry of court requests. What is it about September that causes the increase and more importantly, what can you do to avoid the coming onslaught?
One aspect of September is that it brings with it a sense of newness, the chance to start over and reinvent oneself. However, what may be good for the parent may or may not be the best for the children. Many separating or divorced parents do not agree about where their children will be attending school. Private versus public schools, charter schools, K-12 online classes. Usually if the children have a history of attending private school, that will continue to happen after separation and divorce. The courts like to see continuity and stability in the childrens' lives. If you are trying to figure out where to live after you leave the marital residence, it is almost always a good idea to remain in the same school district. Travel to/from the other home will be much less of an issue and, there is a good chance the local school bus will stop near your new home.
September also means that the trifecta of big holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's) is around the corner and, parents become anxious that they may not get to spend the holidays with their children. The best way to avoid last minute litigation is to have a written, signed parenting plan/agreement. That way everyone knows where the children will be and with whom they will be spending time. Make an appointment with a family law attorney to discuss your options and plan for the future.