As summer draws nearer to its end, kids in California and across the country are getting ready to return to school. For some, this year will be different than the rest because their parents filed for divorce over the summer. This is a major change that has implications in many aspects of daily life, especially for children who are navigating a back-to-school season.
Whether you and your ex are on good terms or don’t get along well at all, there’s no reason that your divorce must ruin your children’s school year. Provided you’re both willing to cooperate and compromise for your children’s well-being, you can create a solid child custody agreement that helps you avoid disputes and helps your children come to terms with your new family dynamics, including having resources on hand to help resolve problems if they arise.
Approach the back-to-school season as a business endeavor after divorce
No one is saying that you and your ex must be best friends for your kids to have a happy and productive school year following your divorce. However, by keeping these helpful tips in mind, your family can minimize stress and overcome any obstacles that are adversely affecting the school year:
- Estimate expenses for school supplies and activities, and determine which parent will be responsible for which fees.
- Discuss homework routines, transportation for sports or extracurricular activities, and special events — write out terms of agreement.
- Inform parents, coaches and others who play key roles in your children’s education about your divorce.
- Decide which parent the school should call if there’s an emergency or problem.
- Determine whether you’ll share legal custody or one of you will have sole legal custody, which determines whether you must consult each other before making decisions about your children’s education.
When you focus on your children’s well-being, you can develop a back-to-school plan that helps your kids cope with divorce and also helps you and your ex peacefully navigate the school year.
What if your ex doesn’t obey the child custody order?
You can incorporate a back-to-school plan into your California child custody agreement. However, if your ex doesn’t adhere to the terms, it can cause untold stress in your children’s lives, as well as your own. When kids struggle to cope with divorce, it often affects their grades and behavior in school. If a teacher, coach or guidance counselor informs you that your child is having a difficult time, you may want to reach out for additional support.
For instance, if your ex is constantly disregarding your child custody order regarding times and locations to pick up the kids or transfer custody, you can seek the court’s intervention to resolve the problem. With a strong support base and a basic knowledge of California divorce and child custody laws, you can find fair solutions to even the most complex problems.