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Co-parenting Your Child Through Back-To-School Season

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2023 | FAMILY LAW - Child Custody |

Whether the upcoming school year will be the first one for your child since your separation or divorce or they’ll be going to a new school (or both), you and your co-parent will need to communicate and cooperate more than you may feel like doing at this point in your relationship. 

Nonetheless, if you are sharing custody of your child, helping ensure that your split interferes as little as possible with the educational and social aspects of school is among your most important responsibilities. Let’s look at few key things you can do to accomplish that.

Determine how expenses large and small will be covered

If you’ve already worked out a child support order, that likely covers key expenses like any tuition, uniforms and maybe even school supplies. If your child is moving from middle school to high school or to a school in a different city, you may have to modify that.

There are still myriad smaller expenses that add up. This can be everything from the cost of a musical instrument or new sports equipment to lunch money. It’s critical that the two of you work out how those will be divided or reimbursed so that your child doesn’t have to hear, “Ask your father for the money,” or “Your mother doesn’t pay me enough in child support for that.”

Agree on shared rules, responsibilities and expectations

One reason some kids have trouble in school after their parents’ break-up is that they’re so wrapped up in their own drama that they’re not as focused on their kids as they used to be. Agreeing on things like homework before screentime, bedtimes, helping with projects and expectations around grades can help a child see that their parents are still a team when it comes to caring for them.

Stay informed and involved

When you let the school know about your new family dynamic, make sure they have both of your contact information so you each get all necessary notices. Unless you absolutely can’t be in the same room, it’s best to attend parent-teacher conferences together and both make an appearance at class and school events.

If you need to make modifications to your child support order, parenting plan or other documents (whether they’re still being worked out or are already in place), having experienced legal guidance always helps.