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Child custody considerations during high school graduation

Many Virginia families are turning their attention toward planning their child's high school graduation celebrations. For those who have gone through a divorce, working out the scheduling while also addressing the child custody agreement can pose a challenge. Parents should recognize what an important time this is for their child and must make every effort to eliminate contention with each other and focus on acknowledging the accomplishments of their child.

This begins with working together to figure out the schedule for week. Often, both sides of the family wish to hold separate celebrations, whether those events are a dinner with extended family from out of town or a full-blown party that includes the graduate's peer group. No matter what type of celebrations are being planned, both parents should be willing to set aside the visitation schedule and work out a solution that meets the needs of all involved.

For example, if one parent has a scheduled weekend visit that covers the actual day of graduation, it is important to be gracious and share that time with the other parent and his or her family. The same goes for making sure that the graduate is able to spend time with family that come in from out-of-town. There will be a number of considerations that will have to be made during this period of time, and trying to maintain a rigorous child custody schedule will only serve to complicate matters.

When parents are at odds, the person who suffers the most is the child caught in the center. Fighting over whose day it is or where the family will meet after the graduation ceremony will only make this time stressful for the graduate. Virginia parents should also keep in mind that their child will soon be an adult and can make his or her own decisions about where to spend their time. The last few weeks or months of their childhood should be spent focusing on the future, not playing out lingering child custody resentments from the past.

Source: San Diego Ca. Patch, "Your Divorce Is Not Part Of Your Teen's Graduation", Susan C. Schena, March 31,2016

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