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Setting up a flexible custody schedule helps during a school year

There's no question that it can be difficult to set up a child custody arrangement that works for you. Even though you and the other parent have raised your child together in the past, it's far different to do so in two different households.

It can be particularly difficult to come up with a schedule during the school year. For children who are young, schooling is fairly straightforward. They leave in the morning and return in the afternoon. This simple schedule rarely changes and makes it easier for parents to schedule around their children's schooling.

For older children, scheduling is a little more complex. After-school activities, clubs, going to friends' houses and other situations can make arranging for care for your child very difficult. Fortunately, children who are older may also be able to manage at home on their own for an hour or two without a parent present so that those who need to work longer than the school day have time to work without worrying about rushing home.

The most important part of planning for custody during a school year is to have flexibility. This may mean bringing a third party into your plans. For example, if your child's grandmother lives near the school, you may want to ask if she'd be willing to look after your child on days when there are special events that you can't attend or that overlap with your schedule.

Think carefully about your child's schedule and how you want to address the need for flexibility. If you and the other parent can't agree, then you may want to look into mediation or going to court to set up a custody plan.

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