Each year, as summer starts to wind down and a new school year appears on the horizon, families throughout State need to create and adjust new schedules. As a custody attorney understands, transitioning from summer to the school year can be challenging.
The time to make plans for the new school year should be done during the summer and not when the return to school date arrives. Here are four guidelines you and your co-parent can follow to make transitioning to a new school year as easy as possible for yourselves and your children.
Communication Should Be a Priority
Clear, consistent communication is always the most valuable tool in your co-parenting arsenal. When your child starts receiving documents for the new school year, like schedules and important class information, share these documents with the other parent so you are both aware of your child’s new school schedule and how to contact his or her teachers. Keep them informed about events like teacher conferences and back to school nights because taking an active role in your child’s academic life will help you both maintain a strong, healthy relationship with your child.
If you have concerns about your child’s academic performance, discuss them with your former partner. He or she should know about the challenges your child faces and might be able to offer insight that can help you help your child overcome them.
Get into the New Routine Before Summer Ends
A new school year is a big adjustment for a child. A new routine and a new school year at once can be completely overwhelming. In the last few weeks of summer, slowly reintroduce your school year routine, such as an earlier bedtime and a more consistent schedule. If this is your first year co-parenting, you might be building an entirely new routine.
If You Have to Modify Your Parenting Plan, Do It
Parents who agree to parenting plan modifications can easily have their plans modified. With the new school year and its academic and extracurricular demands on your children, modifying your parenting plan could be in their best interest.
Maintain Consistent Rules and Expectations Between Households
Before school starts, talk to your former partner about your expectations for your children during the school year. When you are on the same page about what you expect and how you plan to handle various issues that arise, effectively co-parenting your children is much easier. For example, you and your former partner might agree that all homework is to be done before dinner time or that if a child gets in trouble at school, certain privileges will be taken away.
Work with an Experienced Child Custody Attorney
For legal advice and guidance as you navigate the challenges of co-parenting in the new school year, work with an experienced child custody attorney.