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Advice in a child custody case: Know your child's teachers

Divorcing couples competing for child custody can endure a great deal of scrutiny concerning every aspect of their lives. In some cases, your children's teachers can have a significant impact in the results of child custody proceedings, influencing a judge's final decision on child custody, parenting time, and visitation rights.

Divorce experts note that the potential involvement of teachers makes it important for both parents to be involved with their children's education. Many times, teachers will be called into court proceedings as witnesses to the parents' involvement in their children's lives. This includes being communicative with teachers and encouraging and facilitating the educations of their children.

This can be difficult for some parents to grapple with in the aftermath of a divorce. Many times, one parent assumes the lead in communicating with teachers and the school, and one is often selected as the primary emergency contact. More often than not, the mothers of children in Florida and elsewhere across the country tend to perform these roles.

Fathers who choose to get involved with schools and teachers can stick out, though, because men are less commonly seen in this environment. There are several things separated parents can do to improve how they fare in child custody battles.

For example, parents should be sure to attend parent-teacher conferences and to be visible at the school picking up children and/or talking to teachers when necessary. Parents can also try to volunteer to chaperone field trips or help out in the classroom when their schedule allows.

Finally, parents should try to help their kids when homework whenever possible. This can be difficult for parents with limited visitation to accomplish, but signing off on grade reports or taking care of other homework needs as they arise can greatly improve how teachers perceive parental involvement with children.

Source: Huffington Post, "Want custody of your kids? Get involved with their school!" Joseph Cordell, March 8, 2012

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