It’s normal to be concerned about how you and your co-parent will deal with the upcoming school year – especially if you’re newly separated or divorced. If you’re sharing custody of your children, you’ll want to be involved in both their educational and extracurricular activities.
The better the two of you can work together and focus on the well-being of your kids, the more smoothly things should go for everyone. Let’s look at just a few things that all co-parents should commit to doing.
Confirm your parenting time schedules
Even if you’re still negotiating your parenting time, it’s best to have a clear schedule before your kids go back to school and to share it with them. This way they know where they’ll be on any given day and who will be dropping them off and picking them up from school or other activities.
It’s also a good idea to get a copy of the school calendar and coordinate who will have the kids on school holidays, including half-days off for teachers’ meetings. Don’t just focus on winter and spring breaks.
Give school personnel the information they need
Make sure the school has contact information for both of you and any other information they need if there’s an emergency or your child gets sick. You’ll want to both get information like grades, upcoming events and other notifications.
Sometimes parents prefer to tell their children’s teachers, counselors and coaches about the changes in their family. This can help them watch for problems and offer help or alert you as needed.
Commit to communicating
The school may not always notify you of every spelling bee, science fair or awards ceremony. It’s best when both parents can make sure the other parent knows about any events and any schedule changes. There are numerous co-parenting apps that can let you do this without communicating directly.
If you’re still working out your custody agreement and parenting plan, you can codify as much as possible in these documents. If you believe you need to make modifications to your existing documents as your child starts a new school or takes on more activities, it’s best to have legal guidance.