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Worried about co-parent problems this back to school season?

Just because you filed for divorce this past summer, it doesn't necessarily have to ruin your children's back-to-school season. As Wisconsin students and others throughout the country are heading back to their classrooms, even families with both parents living under the same roof encounter challenges. It takes time to get back into a school routine and to workout all the glitches that arise during the first few weeks.

It's a good idea, however, to acknowledge that your divorce has likely prompted numerous changes in your children's lives. Some of those changes may unfold in the school environment. Therefore, the more you discuss and plan ahead, the easier it might be to avoid problems. It's also a good idea to know how to tap into support resources, as needed.

Don't catch your child's teachers by surprise

While you definitely are not obligated in any way to fill teachers in on the details of your private life, it's helpful to let them know ahead of time when divorce has occurred. This can prevent awkward situations that might arise if your child's teachers assume that you are still married. Instead, informing them of the change can make it easier for all involved to navigate the school year.

Will your children's bus route change?

Due to divorce, children often experience changes in how they get to and from school. In fact, your kids' 'new normal' might require them to have multiple bus routes or means of transportation, depending on whether they live in one house full-time or travel back and forth between two homes.

Either way, it is likely to be a lot less stressful if you make certain ahead of time that the school district is aware of any special needs your divorce has prompted for your kids, transportation-wise.

Attending school events and other issues

Should you and your ex both be there to see the kids off on their first day of school? What about back-to-school night or sporting events? Will you take turns or agree to attend at the same time? There are no set rules regarding such matters and you are free to personalize a co-parenting agreement that meets your own family's needs.

It's most helpful if you and your ex agree to keep your children's best interest in mind in all things school-related. You might not really want to be sitting next to you ex at a football game but if you get along well enough and it helps your kids cope with your divorce, it's worth considering, right?

If legal problems arise during the school year

In a perfect world, children of divorce would simply return to school with no adverse consequences due to over-the-summer life changes. In reality, life is often challenging and divorce often makes it especially so; this is why it pays to know where to seek support if a problem arises regarding custody, visitation, child support or other issues that you feel ill-equipped to handle on your own. 

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