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Are You and Your Co-Parent Ready For the School Year?

On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family Law posted in divorce on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

Going through a divorce means changes for everyone in the family. Making those changes easier for everyone involved may require some intense and thoughtful negotiations, especially when it comes to your parenting plan.

The impending school year may help remind you and the other parent that you need to set some grounds rules when it comes to communicating with the school and attending events. Whatever decisions you make for your family, they ought to help everyone start the school year on the right foot.

Sharing information

Keeping each other informed will be a big part of the equation. The two of you may be ending your marital relationship, but you don’t stop being parents. Remaining focused on that point may make it less difficult to keep the lines of communication open between you since it’s about your kids. This may mean being accountable to the other parent on occasion, but if it helps ensure a good school year for your children, you may find it worth it.

The children’s schools will also need to be aware of your changed circumstances. You may request that communications go to both of you in some manner that is agreeable to everyone. Perhaps you will have a joint email account only for contact with teachers and school personnel. Perhaps one of you will receive phone calls and promise to contact the other parent right away via text, email or whatever way you both choose. Be sure that teachers are willing to work with you when it comes to these arrangements.

Will you attend parent-teacher conferences together? More than likely, it would make life easier for the teachers involved. After all, these changes are yours, not theirs. You will also need to make sure that the school knows how you intend to handle drop offs and pickups. Your students may have other school needs or obligations that require addressing in your parenting plan as well.

Putting it all on paper

Whatever choices you make regarding keeping abreast of how your children are doing at school, make sure that you write them down. The more detail you include in your parenting plan, the better the odds are that each of you will follow through with your agreements.

You may also include a way to resolve any disputes or other issues that come up during the school year since you know that will probably happen. Even married parents never agree on everything. The more prepared you are from the start, the better off everyone will be, and the better school year everyone may have.

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