Back to School Tips for Divorced Parents
As a new school year begins, your child may be excited to hop on the bus and head off to meet their new teachers and friends. While you know you double checked to make sure they remembered their class schedule, pencils and lunch box, here a few more tips to make that first day successful and ease any concerns
you may have for co-parenting during the school year.
1. Verify the school's pick-up list.
Many schools now require parents to list each and every person who is authorized to check the child out of school or pick them up after dismissal. If you're divorced, your list may need to include step-parents, grandparents and other caregivers. Make sure that you have included the name and contact information of everyone they should be familiar with, and advise the school of any alternating schedule you and your former spouse may have for pickup.
2. Share the cost of supplies.
The first day of school always comes with a shopping list: new shoes, books, supplies and activity costs don't need to present a hardship-- discuss them with your former spouse ahead of time, and be sure to save all your receipts to make it easy to track these costs. Decide what a fair split for these items should be, and make payments in a timely fashion-- your final judgment of dissolution should list who pays for what, and how costs are to be divided.
3. Talk to the teacher.
When you attend your child's open house, advise your child's teacher of your family situation. These days, teachers are accustomed to dealing with many different family structures, and letting them know your unique situation can help them better address your child's needs. The best case scenario is for both parents to attend the meet and greet, but if that's not possible, be sure to put the teacher on notice.
Just like your child learns to share in school, remember to keep your ex in the loop regarding their progress in school. It's important to share these moments, so make sure they receive school pictures, report cards, and invitations to any school events. If you don't communicate well, there are other options: using Google Drive or a similar dropbox software will enable you to share these items indirectly.
The Bulger Firm wishes all children and their families and safe and happy school year!