If you’re a parent who is newly divorced or still in the process of divorcing, it’s just about time to start thinking about how you and your co-parent can manage the back-to-school season.
As long as you can both prioritize your child’s emotional and educational well-being, you and your co-parent can keep this transition period pretty smooth. Here are some tips that can help:
Collaborate on the preparations and the bills
Uniforms, shoes, book bags, electronics and other school supplies are expensive, and shopping for everything you need can be confusing when you no longer all share a household. Talk with your co-parent about how you can “divide and conquer” the list. Decide who will shop for what, how much involvement your child should have in the process and how any bills will be split.
Establish some clear communication routes
You need two primary methods of communication between your households. First, create a shared calendar so that you can plot out and keep track of regular school events, including everything from school presentations and band concerts to parent-teacher meetings. There are plenty of online options you can use to make it easy.
Second, you need an emergency contact method. One option is to set up a group chat that includes your co-parent, your child (if they’re old enough) and any optional caregivers you have so that you can coordinate a response if your child is sick or there’s a problem with the usual pickup routine.
Figure out a consistent routine for both households
Nobody is saying that you and your ex-spouse have to operate your respective households exactly alike, but you should have some consistent after-school routines for the kids. That gives your children a sense of stability and security – as well as clear expectations they can follow when it comes to homework and school nights.
Sometimes divorced parents run into situations with a child’s education where they cannot seem to find a consensus. When that happens, experienced legal guidance can help you figure out your options.