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Kids going back to school? Brush up on your co-parenting skills

Divorced parents can take steps to smooth the back-to-school transition for their children.

As quickly as it began, summer has come to a close. As children return to school, those of divorced or divorcing parents may have some additional concerns to address as they head back to class.

When divorced parents share physical custody of their children, there are some simple steps that can make the school year easier for both the kids and the adults.

Be prepared and consistent

When children travel between houses during the school week, preparations have to be made to ensure they always have the schoolbooks and clothes needed for the next day. One simple solution to make certain everyone remembers which days are spent in each house is to create a written schedule. Parents can post the schedule in both houses, allowing an easy reference point whenever someone – parents included – has trouble remembering the plan for the week.

Whenever possible, maintaining the same schedule each week will also help ensure smooth transitions throughout the week. It is also beneficial to ensure children have the essentials at both homes, such as school clothes and any items necessary to complete their homework, like a calculator or computer.

Parents can also help children transition to the school year by enforcing similar rules. For instance, they may agree that the children must finish their homework before they are able to play games or watch television, regardless of the home in which they are staying. In addition, it may be wise to keep the same bedtime for younger children at each house.

While divorced parents will inevitably disagree on some parenting decisions, keeping some consistent rules in both homes will help with the back-to-school adjustment period.

Communicate

Former spouses who are co-parenting their children will also find it is a good idea to find a healthy way to communicate about the children. Parents should consider finding an alternate method of communication if they are unable to have civil conversations in person. Rather, it may be beneficial to communicate mainly via email or text message.

In addition, parents should maintain open lines of communication with teachers and other school faculty, particularly if they are in the process of divorcing. Ensuring the other adults in the children’s lives understand the changes taking place at home can help them understand any difficulties the children may be experiencing at school.

If you are thinking about getting divorced, you need an experienced legal professional on your side, protecting your interests. Consider talking to a skilled family law attorney, who will work on your behalf throughout the divorce process.

Keywords: co-parent, divorce, children, school, legal separation, racine, kenosha, child custody

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