Several parents throughout California have gone through a divorce during the summer. Now, with back-to-school time underway for many families, children and their parents are struggling to come to terms with a new family structure. Although this time may seem difficult for both parents and their kids, several tips have been provided by experts to ease the transition back to school.
First, parents should make sure that they map out the entire school year in advance. Be sure to schedule meetings with teachers together, even though this may seem challenging at first. Ensure that each parent knows when the children will be on break or taking early release days, as these changes could cause difficulties with the child custody agreement. Remember to be flexible as the year progresses, and post the calendar so your kids know what's going on.
It is also really important to decide who will be picking up the children from school every day. This plan should also include sporting events, emergency scenarios and other situations as determined by the children's schools. Furthermore, a list of adults who may pick up the child from school should be submitted; sometimes, an aunt, family friend or significant other may be required to retrieve the child, especially if a parent is busy.
Parents should also remember that child custody swaps should not be conducted at school, but rather at a neutral location like a library or shopping mall. Swapping custody while at school can be embarrassing and stressful for kids, who may not yet be comfortable with people knowing that their family has recently split.
Finally, be sure to acknowledge that your child is not a messenger between parents. Parents are encouraged to use e-mail to transfer this information. By using some simple strategies for cooperation, parents can set their kids up for success even through the challenges that come with a divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, "Divorcing Parents: 5 Tips For A Successful School Year," Bari Zell Weinberger, Aug. 28, 2012
• Our firm helps families through all stages and struggles of the divorce process, including those mentioned in this post. For more information, please visit our California Family Law page.