Back-to-school season is a stressful time of year for any parent, but when divorce or separation is added to the equation, everyday tasks can become significantly more complicated. There are sports schedules to balance, homework to help with, and possible disciplinary decisions that will need to be made. At the Law Office of David Pedrazas, our family law attorneys help divorced parents navigate the difficulties that come with a new school year by seeking resolutions that keep everyone’s best interests in mind.
Divvy Up School Supplies, Duties, and Costs
Without proper planning, back-to-school shopping can be a major cause of disputes and frustration among divorced parents.
- Do agree on which parent will be responsible for which purchases ahead of time. As soon as the teachers’ supply lists come in, add your kids’ individual needs, such as clothing and backpacks, to the list, and decide who is buying what. This should help alleviate arguments after the fact.
- Do set reasonable expectations up front. Each parent should spend about the same amount of money to keep things fair, so it’s important to set a budget in the beginning so everybody’s on the same page.
- Don’t ask one parent to do all the shopping or paying. Back-to-school time is expensive in terms of both time and money, and it’s only fair to divvy up the driving and spending duties between both parents.
- Don’t expect the other parent to read your mind. Communication is essential, so if there are things you want your child to have or not to have, you need to have an open discussion about your concerns.
Reduce Stress by Sharing Schedules
Between academics, extracurricular activities, and special events, calendars can get pretty crazy when school is in.
- Do plan ahead and put everyone’s important information on a shared calendar so everyone can access it. This will eliminate last-minute surprises and potential disappointments and help parents navigate custody arrangements, should something unexpected come up. There are plenty of mobile apps and online resources to make this process as easy as possible.
- Don’t make last-minute schedule changes without consulting the other parent. Scheduling can be incredibly difficult for divorced parents, and it’s important to be communicative when something comes up, as you’ll likely need the same courtesy at some point in the future.
Communicate Your Family Situation to Your Kids’ Teachers
It’s not important to go into detail about your divorce, but it’s often a good idea to discuss your situation with teachers so they’re not surprised when someone who appears to be a stranger picks them up from school one day.
- Do have a conversation with the teachers early on in the school year to explain any blended family scenarios. This can help your child feel at ease when talking about their extended family members in everyday conversations, while also keeping teachers aware of people who may interact with the children outside of the people they normally see.
- Don’t disclose unnecessary details. Privacy is imperative. A high-level explanation will do just fine.
Keep Your Cool This Back to School Season with David Pedrazas
Divorce can cause back-to-school stress and anxiety above and beyond emotions that normally revolve around a new school year. If you’re experiencing difficulties as a result of your divorce, you should consider seeking legal counsel from a family law attorney who can help you evaluate your current situation and help you understand options that may lessen the back-to-school burden. For more than 20 years, the legal team at the Law Office of David Pedrazas has been helping families through commitment, compassion, and quality representation. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.