It is that time of the year again – summer is winding down and children are heading back to school. This time of year can be hectic enough, with shopping for new school clothes, school supplies, arranging for before and/or after-school care. However, for divorced parents, there can often be the added stress of not only ensuring your child has a great school year but also of dealing with your ex. Even in the friendliest of breakups, there can be some contentiousness that develops over back-to-school issues. Following these tips can help the school year go more smoothly.
Make Routines Routine
Children thrive on routine. Having a consistent schedule of dinner, homework, and bedtime – whether they are at Mom’s house or Dad’s house is much healthier, as well as a lot less stressful for a child, who may be also be dealing with the emotional effects of the divorce.
Other decisions which need to be agreed upon include after-school activities, how pick-up and transporting will be handled, school meals, and emergency procedures. If possible, both parents should meet without children present, and work out an agreement on these issues.
Draft a master calendar that both parents can use. There are several online options and numerous apps in which both parents can access and edit the calendar. Enter the school calendar, which will assist immediately in coordinating parenting time with what is going in the school district, such as early dismissal days, holidays, and vacations.
Meeting with Teacher
Ideally, both parents should arrange a meeting with the teacher to discuss the family’s circumstances and also discuss any emotional issues your child might be having over the divorce. It is not uncommon for children whose parents are splitting up to act out in school or exhibit other behavioral issues.
Also, make arrangements with the teacher for duplicate notifications to be sent to both parents regarding school activities and academic progress. Regardless of how parenting time is divided, it is important for both parents to be able to discuss information with the child’s teachers and counselors. An exception to this would be if there is a protective order in place. Otherwise, remember how crucial it is for your child’s success to work as a team.
Parenting time and parenting responsibilities can be some of the most difficult issues in a divorce to manage. If you are considering a divorce, contact a skilled Kane County family law attorney today. Call 630-879-9090 to schedule a consultation with Attorney Van A. Larson.