School is back in session, which means that children are reclaiming their school year routines as they become anxious and excited for what the year ahead has to offer. For parents, this can be a particularly stressful time of year for many reasons. One of those reasons is that the start of school can give rise to disputes over child support and visitation arrangements.
For example, while child support is often meant to address essentials, such as food and clothing, it doesn't always address school-related costs, as well as expenses related to extra-curricular activities. Additionally, who should pay for child care in the event that a child misses school on account of sickness? Even matters like school dances can be expensive and leave custodial parents wondering whether they should be left holding the bill.
During this time of year, issues can also arise with regard to time spent with a child. A custodial parent who signs a child up for extracurricular activities that only meet during scheduled visitation times with a non-custodial parent, for example, may give rise to allegations of parental interference.
These issues are very real and arise quite frequently in family law. To avoid them, parents need to make sure that they have a full understanding of each other's rights and responsibilities. This often means creating a written agreement that addresses all of these issues. This can help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications, and it provides parents with something to refer to when disagreements arise.
Entering into an agreement that involves family is no small matter, even if it seems like it on its face. Some parents will try to take advantage of another parent by taking in small pieces, whether it be in time or money. If you are trying to figure out how to address your child's school schedule and school-related expenses, it may be a good idea to get more information before signing off on any agreement with the child's other parent.