As we here in Southeast Texas get closer to the end of the school year
it is understandable for our minds to drift more towards days spent having
fun in the sun rather than eventually returning to the rigors and schedules
associated with the school year.
If you and your spouse are going through a
divorce right now it is possible that your case could be resolved this summer.
That leaves you both with needing to figure out on the fly how to handle
the transition not only from summer to school, but from one household
to two. Today’s blog post will focus on helping recently divorced
families get a plan in place for the start of a new school year.
Utilize technology to keep everyone organized. A great way for you and your ex-spouse to communicate effectively and
efficiently is to work together on creating a calendar to organize your
and your children’s days during the school year. The great thing
about technology is that it really does leave you without any excuse as
to why an event was missed or a change was not communicated.
There are various online platforms where both you and your ex-spouse can
add to change events on a calendar. You don’t need to have access
to one another’s email accounts, but you can have the same privileges
when it comes to your shared calendar. Your attorney may suggest a specific
co-parenting website to utilize a calendar on or you may choose one from
your email provider. Either way, make sure that both you and your ex-spouse
are aware of how to use the technology and what works best for your family
as well as organization.
Nothing can get more frustrating for a divorced parent than to pick up
your child with activities planned only to find out that he or she has
a big assignment due at school on Monday. Worse yet- it’s possible
that the assignment was sent out weeks ago but your ex-spouse and child
hadn’t done anything yet to complete it until the last minute. That’s
not playing fair and not doing your child any favors, either. Ultimately
he or she will be the one to suffer from an assignment either not completed
or done in a hurry.
With this in mind,
use your online calendar to keep track of projects, assignments and other
school related responsibilities. This will allow both you and your ex-spouse to plan ahead as much as
possible when it comes to your schedules are concerned. Other items that
can be included in your calendar are practices, club meetings, and doctor’s
There can be a point where you all inundate each other with information,
thus making the calendar more of a curse than a blessing. Speak to your
ex-spouse at the beginning of the school year about what is and what is
not appropriate to share on the calendar. Now, as long as we’re
on the subject of “speaking” ….
Take the necessary steps to always be willing to speak to and communicate
with your ex-spouse. It could be that you and your ex-spouse have no problem speaking to one
another and never did. Your divorce was about other issues beyond just
the marital relationship itself. Or, you both could have spent the entirety
of your divorce speaking through your attorneys- not even addressing the
other’s presence at mediation or in court.
Regardless of where your marriage failed, or where your comfort level lies
the new school year brings with it an opportunity for you to start anew
and begin to include your ex-spouse on changes in schedules and updates
on school related activities.
It is easy to be petty and to choose to ignore your ex-spouse if he or
she asks when a soccer game is this weekend or when the parent teacher
conference is scheduled for. You could even brush off their missing an
event due to your own busy schedule or something like that.
However, it is your child that will suffer from their not being able to
share an exciting accomplishment or event with both of their parents.
He or she may no longer be your spouse, but that he or she is the other
parent to your child will never change. Choose to always take the high
road and make him or her aware of any schedule changes, conflicts or other
minutia. It’s possible that your attitude will brush off on him
or her and create a great co-parenting environment for you both.
Finally, put your child’s health and well being at the top of your list. If your child needs to stay home from school for any reason let your child’s
school and your ex-spouse know immediately. Even if you know that your
child is staying home and the school knows as well, it’s unlikely
that your ex-spouse will know the details unless you share those with
him or her.
I’ve come to learn that schools send out emails to parents if their
child is not present when attendance is taken throughout the day. If your
child is home sick with you then it will be no shock to receive an email
from the school alerting you to the fact that your child was not at school
that day. However, if you don’t tell your ex-spouse ahead of time
about the absence can you imagine their reaction when he or she reads
that email? If you can avoid surprises then the chances of being able
to effectively co-parent during the school year increases dramatically.
Questions about handling the school year as a divorced parent? Contact
the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you are going through a divorce or contemplating one please
Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. We pride ourselves on working with you as a client and preparing
you and your family for life after your case as well.
A free of charge consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys
is only a
phone call away. We can discuss the services we provide to clients and will answer
your questions in a comfortable, pressure free environment.