Jonesboro Attorneys

Co-Parenting Tips for the School Year

Now that the school year has officially begun, it is time for parents to start preparing their children for their return to academia. For divorced parents, co-parenting might often feel like a great feat, but there are ways to make this feel like more of a team effort rather than a challenge. Getting your children ready for the new school year will require quite a bit of cooperation and coordination, which cannot happen if you are focusing on the issues you might have with each other instead of your children.

Here are some tips to help you and your former partner effectively co-parent for the school year and beyond:

1.Everyone must be on the same page: In some families, co-parents have taken to the use of weekly or monthly family meetings to ensure everyone is updated on what is going on in everyone’s lives. It is also a productive method for encouraging your children to talk to both you and your co-parent, and even more useful in keeping both you updated on their lives.

Being on the same page is especially crucial when it comes to scheduling. A simple responsibility, such as remembering to pick up your child’s cleats for an afterschool game, can become an impossible task if you and your co-parent are poorly communicating. Given that communication can be difficult even for parents with a good relationship, it can be even more trying for those who are separated and possibly have some unresolved issues.

2.Both co-parents should be responsible for shopping: Going back to school is a major task for any family with children, but when parents are divorced or separated, it will require a little extra coordination. Back to school shopping includes not only new supplies, but new clothes as well. As such, this duty should not fall upon one parent. To make sure there are no redundancies in your purchases, split the purchases into different categories. You might not agree on everything the other parent gets, but to avoid any petty fights, try not to sweat the small stuff. The important thing here is to make sure your children have everything they need to return to school.

3.Now is not the time to address child support issues: For many parents, child support is a touchy subject and should not be discussed around your children. Kids often use their return to school as a time for sharing their new belongings, always aiming for the latest, hottest thing. This can put a strain on the wallets of both parents, but you should not blame your inability to buy your children pricey items on your child support payments or on the other parent’s lack of child support. There is a time and place for child support discussions and back to school shopping fits neither of those categories, especially if you are around your children.

4.Help your children with their daily school work and major projects: Once the school year starts, it is crucial to be involved in the academic lives of your children and take an interest in their work. Whether they are fast or slow learners, when your children are staying in your home, you need to take time to sit down with them while they are working on their school assignments. Of course, your co-parent should do this as well. This sends your children a very specific message – that both of you will be there for them whenever they need you. You should also coordinate with your co-parent regarding your children’s schoolwork. For example, if there is an important test coming up when your co-parent has the children, let him or her know to ensure the children study diligently while visiting. You should both know when homework is due, so are able to make sure they always complete their assignments.

5.Attend important school events with your co-parent: In cases where parents have a particularly high conflict relationship or have a no contact order by the court, attending school events together might either be difficult or altogether impossible. However, if possible, it is always best for parents to attend school events together. Being able to sit down at a school orientation or parent-teacher conference on behalf of your children will allow both of you to obtain important information about your children without having to relay anything and risking it getting lost in translation.

6.Always keep the focus on your children: It can be easy for exes to get caught up in an unnecessary and unproductive argument that has little to do with the children and relates more to an ongoing battle they might have between one another. Keep in mind that letting your emotions get the best of you will not do your children any favors. In fact, it will only harm them. Maintain your focus on them and be as civil as possible. This is easier to do when you do your best to not deviate from topics and decisions relating to the kids.

7.Parents should also have a backpack: Your children are not the only ones who need backpacks for school. Parents should have a separate backpack to transfer items and forms while keeping children out of the middle. This also prevents children from seeing items they should not be exposed to.

Jonesboro Family Law Attorneys

Matters of family law can be complex and emotionally charged. At Ford & Cook, PLC, we understand these types of situations can feel incredibly overwhelming, which is why we are here to serve the interests of our clients and ensure their rights are protected. Our success comes from hard work and years of practice to provide all those who seek our help with concise explanations and a clear legal plan. Our Jonesboro legal team can help your family with issues relating to divorce, child custody, paternity, and more.

When you cannot settle your family issues out of court, turn to the legal guidance of an attorney at The Law Office of Paul Ford for the dedicated attention you deserve.

Contact us at (870) 853-3621 for an initial confidential case evaluation.