Communication is key for going back to school after divorce

Although it may feel like summer just began, many kids in Texas are heading back to school this month. For newly divorced parents and their children, the end of summer can be a stressful and disorienting time as they navigate changing schedules and child custody plans.

To help keep things running smoothly for everyone, it can be helpful to set aside some time to plan ahead and address any potential obstacles before they have a chance to create problems. As difficult as it can be to have contact with an ex after a recent divorce, one of the most important things that you can do for your kids as they head back to school this fall is to communicate with their other parent.

Without communication and coordination between co-parents, even simple tasks like getting to and from after-school activities can become impossible. If there are serious academic or disciplinary issues to be addressed, the issue becomes even more critical. Some divorced parents find it helpful to set regular meeting times to touch base on their kids’ school-related issues.

Homework is another area that you and your ex will need to collaborate on. Not only should you let your kids know that you are both there for them if they need help, but also make sure to communicate any important due dates, exams or projects so that neither parent is left in the dark about what needs to be done.

As much as possible, it is also a good idea to have both parents actively involved in school events like orientation, parent-teacher conferences or other important events that your child is involved in through extracurricular activities. This helps them form important relationships with teachers and other school officials, and also shows the child that he or she has the support of both parents.

Sometimes, back to school season can bring up unexpected conflicts over parenting time and other child custody issues. For help resolving any legal issues or to prevent such conflicts from arising in the future, it can be helpful to consult with a child custody lawyer.

Source: Our Family Wizard, “Back to School Tips for Co-Parents” (viewed Aug. 1, 2014)