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Custody arrangements for elementary and middle school students

Many parents don't realize that as a child grows, the parenting arrangement can change. This means that a child who has traditionally spent most of his or her time with mom because he or she was breastfeeding might be able to transition to more time with dad as he or she gets older and weans from breastfeeding.

There are some specific things that parents need to think about when they are coming up with a parenting plan for various age groups. Here are some points that you should think about when you are working on a plan for an elementary or middle school student:

Children are fairly flexible by the time they start school. They do have an understanding of time and what a schedule means, but they are able to cope when things change some. This gives you and your ex a bit more flexibility to determine what is going to happen. In some cases, you might need to have the custody agreement updated or modified to reflect these changes.

Creative custody schedules might work in these cases. By choosing a creative custody schedule, you can take your own schedule, your ex's schedule and your child's schedule into account and plan out who will have the child when based on those factors.

Joint parenting is also possible at this age. You might find that this is a good option when the child has an important event, such as kindergarten graduation or a school play. You and your ex would have to put your differences aside and be there at the same time for your child. This isn't easy, but it can work for the good of your child.

Source: Custody Xchange, "School Age Child Parenting Plans and Custody Schedules (6-12 years)," accessed Aug. 03, 2017

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