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Co-parenting during the school year after a divorce

Summer is coming to an end, and this means back-to-school time for children in White Plains. It's a time of excitement, with the prospects of seeing old friends, meeting a new teacher and anticipating what they will learn this year. However, for children whose parents have gone through a divorce, going back to school can be stressful. They have to adjust to living in two households, their normal routines may have been uprooted and if they had to move to a new home they may be nervous about starting at a new school. Parents in White Plains need to work together to ensure they can accommodate the changes the new school year brings.

Parents need to make sure they both have an agreed-upon understanding about how the child is transported to and from school. In addition, there needs to be an agreement on who will help the child with homework and school projects. Sometimes this means a parent needs to alter a work schedule to accommodate the child's needs. In addition, parents may want to make sure that they both attend important school events, even if, technically, it is not their parenting time. Mostly, though, it means that parents need to put their differences behind them and work together for the sake of their child.

Sometimes, if the divorce is recent, a child is still recovering emotionally from the separation. This could affect the child's school work. If parents are unable to help the child succeed academically during this time, it may be necessary to seek professional help sooner rather than later, in order to avoid the long-term effects such struggles can have.

Also, when it comes to school administrative details, parents should agree as to which one of them will be the primary point person. That being said, both parents should give their contact information to their child's teacher, so they both can stay informed on classroom happenings. Similarly, if the school utilizes the Internet to keep parents abreast of homework, attendance and grades, each parent should have access to this. Parents should also regularly discuss how their child is doing in school. This can help both of them get the big picture.

In the end, while co-parenting during the school year is not always easy, it can be done. By keeping the best interests of the child in mind, parents can set their child up for school success.

Source: Huffington Post, "Back to School After a Divorce," Michelle Crosby, Nov. 18, 2014

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Carton & Rosoff PC
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