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Child custody tips for Maryland parents during back to school

Beyond the basics of determining who will be the primary custodial parent and who will have visitation rights, there are several areas of a child's life that may cause parents to think a bit deeper into the role of child custody. One of the most prominent areas is school. When it's time for kids in Maryland to go back to school, parents may find that their agreement needs to be revised in order for the family to work together adequately. While overall child custody arrangements may not change, visitation and involvement roles may.

To help parents as they work to transition their schedules from summer to school, experts have offered some helpful advice. The first piece of advice may come as no surprise for many parents, and is consistency. Kids need consistency as much as is possible in unique circumstances. When parents can work together to keep schedules and routines as similar as possible during the school year, the kids can enjoy stability.

It is also recommended that parents have one master backpack with all the school supplies kids' need, which can travel between homes. Having duplicate sets of supplies can be confusing for kids. It is also important that parents ensure that the school has both sets of household information on file so when mailings are sent out, both parents get a copy.

Another recommendation is that parents try to attend school meetings and activities, even if it means sitting separately. Parents should be civil and respectful to one another during these times. Schools often prefer both parents be present for meetings so that information is given at the same time, which can avoid inconsistency. When parents are unable to both be present, the present parent should help the absent parent be involved by using technology. Sending photos or videos through text or email can keep parents involved and show kids that they are important.

Many Maryland parents going through divorce may not consider how transitioning between summer and the school year can be challenging. Parents may find that their arrangement needs to be modified after experiencing the transitions and new schedules, which may be possible through the court. Parents may benefit by asking questions and finding out what the standards are for modifying a child custody agreement in Maryland.

Source:, "Divorced parents need united front for back-to-school planning," Caurie Putnam, Aug. 22, 2012

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