Back to School Strategies for Divorced Parents
School will start up sooner than some parents think. Even CNN reports that for school, August is the new September. So as each summer progresses, divorced parents often make plans regarding the upcoming school year. School is substantial and plays a significant role in affecting a family’s physical, financial and emotional circumstances. Parents should utilize certain back to school strategies each year to ensure that not just children, but the whole family, have the best school year possible. In making back to school plans, parents should utilize the following essential tips:
- Children do best with consistency. It is likely during divorce proceedings, you and your former spouse agreed upon various elements of a custody plan. As a result, parents should do their best at sticking to the exact terms of a custody plan. Parents should also do their best to ensure that things remain consistent between parents’ houses, including bedtimes, studying styles, and other elements. To maintain consistency, former spouses should also make sure that each spouse plays an equal role in contributing towards helping the child with homework. Back to school shopping is also a job that should be shared between both parents because doing so is a substantial responsibility. Forbes even recently reported on the substantial cost of back to school shopping. Except for situations when it is impossible to do so, former spouses should also attend important school events together because doing so is more effective for both parents in understanding the child’s situation at school.
- Practice Open Communication Styles. Parents want to take several steps to avoid situations where the other parent, teacher, counselor, or another relevant party is not informed about certain requests in how the child is raised. One step is to make the child’s teachers or counselor aware of the divorce so that the teacher or counselor can help monitor things. Not only will this adult be able to comment if the child begins acting out due to the emotional stress from the divorce, the child might feel more comfortable communicating feelings about divorce to the other adult rather than either parent. To ensure fairness and prevent any fights, parents should also coordinate a system to monitor expenses that fall outside of the child support arrangement.
- Use Technology. Parents should not hesitate to utilize modern technology techniques to make communication easier with each other and with teachers and counselors. One potential idea is to use a shared online calendar to monitor the child’s activity so that each parent can remain informed and up to date about the child’s life and development. Creating a calendar like this will help former spouses in several ways. The calendar will help ensure that former spouses avoid making the child a messenger about updates at school. This will also allow them to plot the child’s year out in advance so that both parents are prepared well in advance for updates about the child’s schedule, and determine which parent is responsible for pick-ups to avoid confusion. Parents should also avoid bringing up child support issues around the child. If it is too difficult to discuss such matters on the phone, parents can always discuss these issues through e-mail.
As you plot and plan your child or children’s future school year, if you find that any issues arises that is difficult to resolve, realize that the knowledge and skill of a talented Houston custody lawyer at Lindamood & Robinson, P.C. can be of great use.