School is back in session, and families across North Carolina are settling back into the routine the school year brings. This routine can actually make things easier for many parents.
However, divorced parents must carefully consider how they will approach the school year as a whole. After all, the school year can affect the custody schedule and parenting plans. So, here are a few things you and your ex-spouse should do throughout the year:
Before school starts
Preparing for school can involve a lot of steps. Some of the key issues that divorced parents must address often include:
- Determining how to pay for new school supplies and new clothes for school
- Modifying parenting schedules to accommodate the school and work schedules
- Informing the child’s homeroom teacher or counselor about the divorce
These are only a few measures to take. Your preparation and strategy must correlate with your family’s needs.
On the first day of school
Perhaps before the divorce, both parents were always present on the first day of school to send the child off. It may help to plan a similar approach to this day, especially if the divorce is fairly recent. Sending your child off to school, or maybe welcoming them home, together can show your child that both parents are still there to support them even if they are no longer married.
On the other hand, it may also help to plan something special for the family, such as a fun dinner or event on that day. This can help reduce the child’s stress and feel more comfortable as they start a new school year after experiencing such significant family changes.
During the school year
Support does not stop after the first day of school – as all parents know. After a divorce, it will help to stay up to date with matters regarding:
- Your children: You and your spouse should keep tabs on how your child is doing in school – both socially and educationally. Children deal with divorce in different ways, but it is not uncommon for them to lose interest in extracurricular activities, isolate themselves from friends or avoid studying while they process the changes in their lives.
- You and your ex-spouse: Co-parents will also have to maintain regular communication. This may involve discussing your parenting schedules, your child’s well-being and even school events. As we discussed in a previous blog post, you should have a strategy for how you will approach school-related events so both parents can be there for their children.
The start of the school year may bring quite a bit of stress with it. However, as long as divorced parents prepare and stay involved, then the whole family can overcome that stress and work towards a successful school year.