The following was originally posted on Patch.com by Alisse C. Camazine as part of a weekly series written by the attorneys of Paule, Camazine and Blumenthal, P.C. called From the Lawyer’s Desk. If you have any areas of the law that you would like discussed as part of that series, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that with the start of school, come more than just children’s anxieties. You now have to consult with and work once again with your spouse. Try to make things as smooth as possible for the children. This requires both that parents cooperate. Talk about buying supplies for the children. Talk to your ex about meetings at the school. Make a plan for the homework, and the children’s activities. Try to remember that now that you are getting a divorce (or are divorced) that you still have a business arrangement to deal with in terms of accomplishing a goal: getting your children through school as happily as possible. There are a lot of years together to raise the children and you need to put aside the anger of the past and now run a smooth business together.
Try to discuss school expectations and what you both expect as parents. This will provide stability for the children. Make sure you discuss major issues- curfew, driving, grades. Consult about and with the teachers for your children. Discuss any special needs and help the children may need. Go to the open houses- even if your spouse will be there. Your children won’t care if you are uncomfortable- they will just know if you are there- or worse – not there. If you cannot possibly deal with going together, then tell your child that you have made arrangements to go at a separate time.
While it is possible to arrange separate meetings with the teachers, remember that you do not want to put the school in the middle. Some schools are fine with setting up meetings separately and others dislike it as they want both parents to hear the same comments about the children. If it is really a problem for you to meet jointly, talk to the school and see if this creates problems for the teachers. Your focus needs to be what is in the best interests of the children. Remember that in the midst of a divorce, the school may be the only worry free place for your child. Don’t do anything to ruin this.
If you have any questions about how to cope with your children or ex-spouse and upcoming school issues, please talk to the lawyers at Paule, Camazine and Blumenthal.