Tips for Your Custody Arrangement During the School Year
Although it seems like summer just began, it is winding down and back-to-school season is officially upon us. This time of the year brings many new challenges, especially for divorced families. Whether you have been divorced for years or this is the first “back-to-school” experience as a single parent, the busyness of the season can prove stressful for all. As children and parents adjust to new schedules, juggling after-school activities, daily academic obligations and more, it requires a bit of maneuvering and a lot of communication between ex-spouses. Here are a few tips to keep the chaos down and the communication up, minimizing stress on all parties, during the school year.
Keep it Simple and Keep it Consistent
Depending on your child’s age, this new school year may be completely different than last year or, in some cases, quite similar. If they are remaining in the same school and participating in the same activities, try to keep your arrangement the same as well. If the new year brings new factors, try to keep things as uncomplicated and consistent as possible. Have a discussion with your ex-spouse in advance, talk through details, and come up with an agreement that works best for you and puts your child’s needs first. Try not to switch their schedule or living arrangements up too much and keep it consistent from week to week, making the back-to-school transition as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Flexibility is Key
While it is easy for both you and your ex to agree to stick to the schedule, anytime kids are involved things are subject to change. Practices can run late, last-minute projects can be assigned, and illnesses will unfortunately occur. Good communication and flexibility will be crucial during these times.
Other factors to consider:
- Share a calendar with each other so there is no confusion.
- Plan and divide projects – switch on and off or assign certain subjects to each parent. That way, when something comes along, you both know who will be helping with what.
- Ask for duplicate notifications – make sure you both are on email lists, newsletters, etc. This keeps everyone on the same page.
- Try to make sure you both meet teachers and that they know you are both involved and, while divorced, function as a team.
These tips can be applied to navigating almost any aspect of visitation and custody agreements, but particularly a big one like the back-to-school transition. Follow these guidelines and your family will pass the test with minimal stress and plenty of excitement for what the new year holds! If you and your ex-spouse are having any problems working out an agreement yourselves, feel free to contact us at Schulz Stephenson Law and we can further assist you.