Co-parents can make going back to school smoother for their child

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2022 | Child Custody |

If you and your co-parent are in the process of separating or divorcing this summer, you may already be dreading how you’re going to work together once the new school year starts. If you’re sharing custody, whether equally or not, you both want to remain involved in your child’s education and other activities. However, that’s going to require some communication and cooperation from both of you.

You’ll need to inform the appropriate people at your child’s school about your new family dynamics. You’ll want to be sure they have contact information for both of you and that they share school calendars, grades and other notices with both of you.

You’ll need to decide whether you’re going to do parent-teacher conferences together or separately. Typically, teachers will do whichever the parents request. What they typically won’t do is sit through meetings where parents blame one another for their child’s issues.

Sharing school responsibilities

It’s also a good idea to discuss how you’re going to handle some of the more mundane parts of parenting a school-age child. For example, you both need to stay current on your child’s homework and school projects as they transition between homes. Don’t count on your child to tell your co-parent they have a book report due Monday as you drop them off for the weekend. 

Decide how you want to divide duties like room parent and field trip chaperone before you tell the school your availability. If you have some advance notice of events and can decide these things between yourselves, you’ll prevent confusion and frustration for everyone – particularly your child.

Even something as simple as packing lunches can be a challenge for a parent who hasn’t done it. If your co-parent is taking on that or other tasks they haven’t done in the past, remember that by helping them, you’re helping your child. 

Fortunately, there are a number of co-parenting apps that make it easier for parents to keep each other informed without directly communicating. They have calendars, journals, expense reports and more.

By having experienced legal guidance, you can develop a parenting plan that will address as many situations as possible and make your expectations clear. There will still be bumps, but what’s important is that your child knows you’re still a team when it comes to being their parent.