If you are recently divorced, you are probably starting to realize how different life is now compared to when you were married. The differences are most notable for divorced parents who must acclimate to a situation in which they spend less time with their children than before while still tending to their needs. For many parents, the first school year following a divorce can be the most difficult as establishing a new routine for the children, as well as boundaries for the adults to ensure that the children are not forced to remain in a tense and uncomfortable environment.
Determine Your Ability to Cooperate
Every couple is different, and there is no way to know what is best for your situation without talking with your ex-spouse. Even if the court has granted one of you full decision-making authority over your child’s education, the other should still be willing to provide appropriate support and assistance throughout the year. If you can be civil and reasonable with one another, create a plan that will allow your child to thrive both in and out of the classroom.
Make Plans for Open House
The school year generally begins with an open house or orientation during which you will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet your child’s teachers, and review the curriculum. If possible, you and your ex-spouse should attend these together so that you each receive the same information from the school. If you and your former spouse cannot be in the same room yet, make plans to attend separately. Make sure that, if your ex is truly invested in your child’s education, he or she has access to grades, assignments, and other materials so that he or she can remain abreast of your child’s progress.
Set Consistent Rules
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your child during the first school year after your divorce is to provide consistency. This means similar rules and expectations no matter which where the child happens to be. If homework is to be done immediately after school at Mom’s house, the same should be true at Dad’s. Bedtime and morning routines should also be similar. You must also ensure that your child has everything he or she needs at each home, including a quiet place to work, appropriate materials, and supplies, so that there are no excuses for late work or uncompleted assignments.
Communication Is Key
Throughout the school year, there will be challenges that you, your ex, and your child will need to overcome. To do so, you will need to keep the lines of communication open, even if you do not always see eye to eye. An experienced Orland Park family law attorney can help you create a plan for communicating with your ex-spouse in a manner that focuses on the task at hand and avoids unnecessary acrimony. Call 708-518-8200 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at Kezy & Associates today.