The summer is over, and our kids are back in school. Whether you are newly divorced, or your children are just starting school, the beginning of the school year can be a difficult transition for everyone. Divorcing and divorced parents face some additional challenges, but the good news is that with some forethought and planning, these challenges can be easily met.
Open Communication Should Be Priority Number One
School-aged children have increasing needs and obligations as they advance from preschool all the way through high school. In addition to school-related commitments, there are sports, birthday parties, and other social engagements and after-school activities. Parents can become quickly overwhelmed, especially when they are sharing custody.
One way to minimize stress over your child’s schedule is for both of you to commit to each other that you will be as open with communications as possible. This takes practice, and oversights can happen even for veteran parents. But when both parents practice open communication, your child will reap the benefits.
Share an Online Calendar
Closely related to open communication is sharing an online calendar. There are a variety of options available. Google Calendar is a good option and a free one. If you want more features than simply a shared calendar, you might also consider using an app such as. You can share it with your co-parent, and both of you can add appointments via your phone or PC. This allows both parents to keep track of a variety of commitments that involve their child, such as the following:
- Sports practices and games
- Extracurricular activities
- Family vacations and celebrations
- School photo days
- Doctor’s appointments
The Cost of School Supplies
Many schools have extensive lists of back to school supplies, and prices are increasing. The cost of sending your child back to school is rising, and child support may not be sufficient to cover this additional expense. Even if it is addressed by your child support and custody agreement, it can be an unpleasant surprise. You should discuss this expense with your co-parent and, if necessary, work out some way to share the cost.
Both Parents Need to Be Engaged in Your Child’s Academic Success
A common dynamic is for one parent to shoulder the burden of ensuring that homework is turned in and projects are completed. This can generate a great deal of friction between co-parents, especially when the child is not doing school work when with the “lax” parent. Both parents should be in agreement as to the importance of ensuring their child is doing as well as they are able to in school.
Contact a Seattle Family Lawyer Today
Co-parenting is a process, and disagreements over how to navigate its challenges are common. If you have questions or need help in co-parenting your child, a family lawyer can help you start moving forward. To schedule a consultation with our firm to discuss your challenges, contact us today at 206-784-3049.