Advice for Divorced Parents as the School Year Begins

 Posted on September 04, 2012 in Child Custody

It is the time of year when many students are experiencing those first-day-of-school jitters. Most parents want to do everything they can to ensure their children start the school year off successfully. For divorced parents, there are additional issues that need to be taken into account to ensure things go smoothly for the entire family.

Many of the issues below may be addressed in your Illinois parenting agreement. For those that are not, it may be helpful to communicate with your ex about these matters prior to the school year commencing.

Plan your children's schedules and routines: Discuss how the children will get to and from school and various activities. Review upcoming events on the school calendar and coordinate it with your parenting schedule to ensure children will be able to attend important school functions.

Discuss how expenses will be divided: Plan out who will handle shopping for back to school outfits and supplies, and how these expenses will be split. Also consider expenses for sports, lessons and field trips. Make sure you are both on the same page about how much money will be spent and who will be paying for what.

Arrange for information to be shared: Information sharing is obviously more challenging when a child's parents live in separate households. Ask for duplicate mailings of progress reports and other important notifications from the school. Also consider having a folder in the child's backpack where each parent can see graded papers, art projects and other items of interest to both parents.

All of these tips require successful communication between co-parents. Do your best to work together with the goal of doing what is in the best interests of your child.

Source: The Washington Times, "Back to school tips for divorced parents," Myra Fleischer, August 20, 2012.

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