Year-Round School in North Carolina - Will it Affect Your Custody Order?

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board recently approved year-round calendars for four schools beginning July 2013. This change will affect many parents with custody orders that take into account visitation during their child’s summer break. However, there are options that will help families adjust to their child’s new schedule. Speaking with a family law attorney can help families easily navigate all of these options.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board recently unanimously approved year-round calendars for four schools in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. This non-traditional schedule will launch in July 2013. Two of the four schools affected will have 19 school days added to their calendar, while the other two schools will spend 180 days in school like other students, but will have their breaks spread out. This break from the traditional Fall through Spring school year is being implemented in an effort to reduce the loss of academic skills during the summer. However, this change has led to many concerns, especially among parents who adhere to custody orders.

Many parents abide by a court-ordered visitation schedule, and many of those schedules have specific summer vacation visits. These summer vacation visits were likely planned based on a “normal” 10-12 week summer break from school. What are parents to do when their child’s school implements a year-round calendar like some of the above-mentioned Charlotte schools? The first course of action should be to try to work out an agreement with your ex. If your visitation schedule is part of a separation agreement, it can be altered based on the new circumstances if you both agree to the change. However, if your visitation schedule is found in a child custody order, a motion to have the schedule modified must be made to the Court. Per the North Carolina General Statutes, section 50-13.7, this motion must show that a substantial change of circumstances has occurred that affects the welfare of the child. Additionally, the motion must show that the best interest of the child requires the order to be modified. A North Carolina family law attorney can help file this motion with the Court to ensure the best outcome for you and your family.

A change in the visitation schedule, like one brought on by altered school schedules, can be frustrating and stressful for parents and children alike. Adjusting to a new schedule can take time and effort for everyone involved. Speaking with a family law attorney in the event your visitation schedule changes will help ease the stress your family may feel. A family law attorney can help modify your visitation schedule to best suit you and your family so that the transition is as smooth as possible.

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