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Make custody in Georgia easier for kids during the school year

Believe it or not, we are just days away from the start of the 2018-19 school year: Aug. 1 is the first day of school in many Georgia school districts. Where did the summer go?

Some kids begin school with excitement. For others, it's anxiety. Parents want to make sure they don't put a damper on their children's enthusiasm or allow anything to add to the nervousness.

But sometimes things happen to disrupt the school year, especially when child custody issues come up between parents. What happens to the custody arrangement if one parent takes a new job out of state, for instance? How do you figure out which school the child goes to if the parents live in different school districts? Sometimes, too, the custody order needs to be modified to account for the children growing up and being involved in school and extracurricular activities.

There's a lot to consider.

The most important thing to remember as you're working out these custody issues is to put the kids first.

When a custody changes are made, be sure that any new custody agreement provides as much consistency for kids as possible. Children have enough to manage with homework and peer pressure. They shouldn't have to wonder where they are spending the night or who will get them to school in the morning, as well. Creating an arrangement that clearly outlines where the child will stay on weekends and during the school week is vital, and every effort should be made to stick with it.

This is tougher with a 50-50 custody agreement, but parents need to do their best to stick to it. This way, the children have the confidence of knowing where they will be going each day after school, and administrators and teachers will know just who will be picking them up.

Remember how quickly this summer passed? The holidays will be here before you know it. As the school year starts, co-parents should sit down and plan a schedule for the days off around Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year, and even as far ahead as spring break. The earlier all plans are made, the better.

If you run into any trouble making school-year custody arrangements with your co-parent — or if the child's other parent isn't living up to a court-approved agreement — an attorney with experience in family law and child custody can help.

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