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When kids go back to school, so, too, do divorced parents

One family law commentator notes that newly divorced parents, as well as their kids, have some learning to do as the calendar marches steadily and quickly toward the advent of a new school year in Florida and nationally.

If you weren’t divorced last year at this time, says Myra Fleischer, you’re bound to be just a bit challenged by -- if not temporarily overwhelmed -- by school-related issues revolving around child custody that now confront you for the first time.

A deep breath is certainly in order, implies Fleisher, who counsels that, first of all, consistent and clear communication between former spouses will go far toward ensuring a smooth school year and unruffled family relationships. It will also enable school to “be your kid’s refuge,” says Fleisher, and help the child “forget about the issues at home.”

In virtually every case where there is a custodial and non-custodial parent involved and one or more kids at school, there are bound to be occasional issues across a broad front of concerns.

Those will frequently center on the calendar. When is the school play? What is the drop-off and pick-up time for a sponsored sport? Will both parents be attending a parent/teacher conference? Who is helping on a project? How are homework and/or disciplinary problems at school being handled?

“Get on the same page about routines,” counsels Fleisher. Meet with the ex and with a calendar and school schedule in hand to candidly discuss and come to terms on key issues concerning scheduling. Share all understandings with the child or children.

Staying in close touch, knowing the schedule and being cordial to the fullest extent possible while keeping the best interests of a child centrally in mind will all go far toward keeping school a sanctuary and optimal learning/social environment for a child.

So, too, will meeting and staying in touch with the teacher, notes Fleischer.

And, of course, an experienced family law and divorce attorney can offer guidance and counsel in instances where a parenting plan, visitation and custody-related issues involving school become a concern.

Source: The Washington Times, "9 back to school tips for divorced families," Myra Fleischer, Aug. 15, 2013

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