The divorce is finally over and life is easy again. Right? Maybe not so fast. Although you no longer share a house with your ex, if you have minor children, you are likely still dealing with extensive communication around planning for the upcoming school year. While the kids are probably excited (and you might even be looking forward to having them occupied during the day), preparing for the first school year after an Illinois divorce can take some serious work. Here are five suggestions for how to get ready for school.
Budget for School Supplies
Generally speaking, the parent with the majority of parenting time is receiving child support that already factors in the paying parent’s contribution towards school supplies and extracurricular activities. This means the parent with the majority of parenting time is usually responsible for school shopping. You can ask the other parent for help paying for supplies, but he or she is not obligated to send more money.
Arrange Before and After School Care
Depending on your job and the age of your kids, you may need help getting them out the door and taking care of them after school before you get back home. Having a good relationship with your ex can help make this part easier, especially if there is a crisis. But if flexibility with your former partner is not an option, be sure to have a rock-solid plan for childcare and let your children know exactly what it is.
While homework has fallen out of vogue in some parts of the country, studies show kids who do their homework learn faster and understand topics more deeply. Set up a plan with your children’s other parent to make sure homework gets done, especially if he or she has the kids over the weekend.
Get Bedtime Routines on Track
Waiting until the night before school starts to get the kids to bed at a decent hour is a recipe for chaos the next morning. Start at least a week before school starts and encourage kids to wake up earlier - even if it makes them grumpy. Ask your ex for help so the kids are not up too late on the weekend.
Divorce brings a lot of changes for kids. The more kids can anticipate what is coming, the less anxiety and more confidence they will have. Put a schedule in a central area of the house and offer reminders about the dinner table about what events are coming up. Be sure to let them know your parenting time schedule and when visitation trade-offs will happen.
Contact a DuPage County Parenting Plan Lawyer
While the skilled Wheaton, IL parenting plan attorneys at Andrew Cores Family Law Group cannot help you take the kids school shopping or plan out a bedtime routine for you, we can provide the support and legal guidance necessary to create a great parenting plan. To get started, call us today at 630-871-1002 and schedule a free consultation.