Tips for Sharing Custody During Back-To-School Season

If you are recently divorced with children, you are likely facing a range of unexpected challenges. While you can’t predict every challenge that may arise down the road, there are events you can anticipate and prepare accordingly.

For instance, it’s back-to-school season, which could give rise to various situations that complicate custody matters.  Adequate preparation now can make it far easier to avoid and resolve several issues in the coming months.

Review your plan

Take time to review custody and parenting plans if this is your first back-to-school season as divorced or separated parents. It can help refresh your understanding of schedules, decision-making authority and any academic-specific measures you might have.

You can also talk to the other parent to discuss how you want to handle the first day and related events. Will you both meet with teachers for orientation? Will you both show up to drop off or pick up your child?

Help your child prepare

A new year is exciting for children, but it can also be stressful – particularly for children who are still reeling from their parents’ divorce.

You can make this time easier on your child by helping them prepare. Ensure they have the school supplies they need at both parents’ houses and talk to them about bus routes or ride schedules. When they feel ready and know what to expect, the new circumstances can be easier for them to navigate.

Discuss your contingency plans

Sick days, school closures and unexpected business trips can all affect the parenting schedule, not to mention COVID-19 precautions that could dictate whether a child is physically in school or learning virtually. 

You can make these scenarios less stressful by having contingency plans in place, like authorizing someone else to pick up your child or take care of them if there are times you cannot.

Tackle questions, confusion early on

If you run into any questions or concerns, it can be best to address them as soon as possible.

If you are worried about enforcing or modifying your custody plan, you can talk to your attorney. If you are anxious about teacher communication or staying in contact with your child’s school, speak to administrators before the school year to discuss your situation.

Taking these steps now can help you, your ex and your child start a new school year on the right foot. 

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