Planning for a new school year following a divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 10, 2018 | Divorce | 0 comments

A new school year in Tennessee comes with a wide range of emotions for any child. There’s the excitement of being around familiar friends and getting back to favorite sports and the anxiety over tackling more challenging classes. The apprehension of returning to school can be even greater for children following a divorce, especially if they’ll now be splitting their time between two households. One way parents may be able to make the transition easier is to have a solid game plan in place before the school year begins.

This might include having a group discussion in which a child talks about their main goals for the upcoming school year and parents share their input. If a group discussion isn’t possible because of lingering tensions following a divorce, children may be able to discuss their academic and athletic goals separately with each parent. With school-related expenses for things like dances, trips, or sports equipment, some parents prefer to do a 50/50 split, while others opt to divvy up these financial responsibilities by income level.

A shared family calendar that can be accessed online or via app so adjustments can be made as necessary may minimize possible conflicts and misunderstandings with school schedules. It’s also advisable for both parents to receive school communications and be sure they are on their child’s emergency contact list. If it’s not possible to agree on specifics with how homework is handled in each house, it can be helpful to shift the focus to creating productive habits with schoolwork and discipline that can be applied regardless of a child’s physical location.

Should disagreements between parents following a divorce escalate, an attorney may first attempt to resolve issues without getting the courts involved. For example, efforts might be made to convince both parents to allow for reasonable adjustments to visitation schedules if there are unavoidable conflicts with a child’s school activities. With serious issues involving clear violations of custody agreements or an inability to pay child support on time, however, a lawyer may recommend appropriate legal actions or court intervention.