Co-Parent Pointers as We Head Back to School
Carlsbad, CA – Once the dust has settled from the holiday festivities of the past few months, it’s important to prepare for back-to-school madness. This is particularly essential for parents who are sharing custody of their children, as this time can be particularly tumultuous.
“Any parent understands how difficult it can be re-establishing the school routine after a vacation,” says John Griffith, San Diego divorce attorney. “But parents who have joint custody of their children face the unique problem of having to coordinate a few more schedules and priorities. It’s an exceedingly challenging time, without a doubt.”
Common Difficulties after the Holidays
Before delving into ways to better prepare for getting children back to school, it’s helpful to note some potential pitfalls in the process. Common issues include:
- Adjusting to a different sleep schedule for parent and child alike
- Re-adapting to a lower concentration of family members readily on hand
- Dealing with more frequent schedule conflicts
- Preparing children to balance homework, school obligations, and home life again
- Balancing the family budget
- Managing potential transportation difficulties
Tips for a Smooth Transition Back to School
- Prepare for the first few days. Knowing who will have custody of the children the day they go back to the classroom will help immensely with coordinating schedules and transportation.
- Consider the children’s desires. California courts strongly emphasize the best interest of the child when it comes to custody matters. It’s helpful for parents to do likewise; what’s really best for the children? Would it be helpful for them to stay with the parent who lives closer to school? Is the child happy in this district, or would another one be more suitable?
- Anticipate school communication. Nowadays, most schools have vast amounts of information available online. Decide how both parents will communicate; perhaps a shared portal account would be useful for efficiently managing school messages. Additionally, ensure that the children’s teachers have contact information for both parents. If both parties are willing, it’s best to share school communication together, whether it’s in the form of a forwarded email response or a phone call about parent-teacher conferences.
- Communication between the former spouses is crucial. Even if there is bad blood between the parents, it’s best for the child if communication channels remain open. If the child is sick and needs to go home from school, the parents should be in touch about the arrangements, including make-up work that will need to be completed.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Even if snow days aren’t very likely in Southern California, other events could occur that would delay or cancel school. Be prepared in the event of a school closure: Where would the children go, and for how long? It’s best to have a contingency plan in place in the event of an unexpected situation.
- Coordinate all calendars. There are many platforms available these days to share calendars online. Popular ones include Google Calendar, Cozi Family Organizer, and Our Family Wizard. No matter the platform, it’s best if all participants check the calendar every day for updates.
The important thing is that the children feel safe and ready to go back to school, knowing both parents are on board with the necessary coordination. With open communication, everyone will be ready for school in the new year!
If you’re going through a divorce involving children, schedule a free consultation with the experienced family law attorneys at Griffith, Young, and Lass.
About Us: We at Griffith, Young, and Lass treat all of our clients with the highest degree of professionalism and compassion. We are extremely knowledgeable in the area of family law and will work with you to settle your case in a timely and efficient manner.
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