Your kids are off school, and things aren’t nearly as busy as they used to be. One of your younger children broke their leg, so you know that no one will be leaving the house much this year. Your older child has been spending their days at their dad’s house since he has a pool.
You know that this arrangement is a little unusual right now because you still do pickups and drop-offs as if your kids were still in school. Your older child stays with their dad through the week, coming home on weekends. Your younger child has been coming home to you after school since you work in a hospital with the physical therapists that they go to see.
You want to change this schedule, because you have found that you’re not seeing your older child much at all, and your younger child isn’t seeing their father regularly, either. What should you do?
You can ask for a modification of custody in court if you and your children’s father can’t agree on a new schedule, but many parents are able to negotiate a new custody schedule and then submit it to the court for approval. For example, you might ask that you have the kids three days a week and that your ex-spouse has them four, since they’re available at home more days than you are during the summer. Similarly, if your ex-spouse is home for the summer because of being a teacher or working a seasonal job, then it may help you to have him watch them more often while you focus on work in the summer.
Every family is different. Our website has more on what you can do if you want to change your custody arrangements.