Starting the School Year off Right When Co-Parenting
The dog days of summer are winding down and that means back to school is right around the corner. The school year often involves a spike in activities and obligations for children, including team sport participations, music lessons, and other events that can put a strain on working parent schedules. For divorced couples who are co-parenting, school year commitments can strain an already stressful relationship. And even more disturbing is the effect all this has on the child.
Planning ahead before the school year actually begins can help alleviate some of that stress. Before school starts, take a copy of the school calendar, usually found right on the school district's website, and sit down with your ex-spouse to plan out the school year. Having plans in place ahead of time for school vacations, holidays, early release days, and weekends allows each parent to plan ahead and also helps decrease the chances of misunderstandings.
Unfortunately, there are many co-parents who have a difficult time communicating and interacting with each other, even when it comes to issues about their children. If this describes your situation, then there are several factors to keep in mind in order to ensure the least amount of stress for your child.
Even if communication with your ex-spouse leaves you totally exasperated, it is important to remember to never leave it to your child to deliver messages about school or any other activities in which your child may be involved. Any information should be delivered directly to the other parent by you. If it is difficult to have civil conversation with your ex, then send the information via email or text. This can be particularly helpful if your ex tries to claim that he or she did not know about the event or information.
If your ex-spouse was the parent who typically handled all school communication when you were married, take the time to contact the school to make sure they also have your email and mailing address in order to receive all notices that the school sends home.
It may also be necessary to meet with your child’s teacher and/or school counselor to inform them of the difficult family situation if you and your ex-spouse are at odds. This way school is aware in case your child exhibits any acting out behaviors. This is also important if the other parent is not an active present in your child’s life.
If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, and you anticipate a difficult child custody battle, consult a compassionate Geneva family law attorney today to discuss your options.