Back to school time is here, and for parents in the Monroe area who divorced over the summer the new school year may look very different for them and their child. The following are some tips for parents on how to handle going back to school following a divorce.
Review existing parenting plans
First, review your child custody and visitation schedule to make sure there are no surprises and that the current plan is feasible for the new school year. If you have been divorced several years, make sure the plan still meets your child’s needs as your child grows. If modifications are necessary, you may need to take the matter to court to make any changes legally binding.
Discuss school-related expenses and events
Second, talk with your ex about school-related expenses and events. Who is going to pay for school supplies or after school care if necessary? Who will take time off of work to care for the child if the child gets sick? Knowing in advance how to handle these costs can save a lot of stress moving forward.
Similarly, plan for school events. Will you be able to attend school concerts and parties together or will you have to take turns? Who will take the child to after-school activities? Some parents find that keeping a shared calendar helps them stay organized and know who will be responsible for what.
Agree on household rules if possible
Finally, it can help to have common rules at home. For example, agree on when the child will wake up and go to bed and how homework will be handled. If parents cannot agree on how to handle these day-to-day tasks, at least make sure the child is aware of what the rules are at each parent’s house, and do not speak poorly of your ex in front of your child if your ex handles things differently.
Back to school time is exciting, but children whose parents divorced over the summer may have a lot of questions and concerns about the new school year. Fortunately, with some cooperation and advanced planning, parents can help their child move through this transition time in a secure manner.