Back to school season can be tough for families of divorce. There can be a lot of uncertainty surrounding custody, support, and co-parenting during the school year. Things can become even more complicated if your divorce case is just beginning.
What are the most common questions divorced parents have regarding the school year?
Will my custody agreement change?
Your custody agreement may change, depending on what schedule you and your ex currently follow. For instance, it may be best to modify your agreement for the duration of the school year. This way, your child doesn’t have to split their time between households during the week. Visitation can occur on the weekend, or on weeknights.
How do extracurricular activities affect visitation?
There is a good chance that extracurricular activities will affect your visitation schedule. Sports games, debates, and school plays are often held on the weekend. This means that the non-custodial parent’s visitation schedule will be interrupted. While this is not an ideal situation, attending extracurricular activities allows for you to perfect your co-parenting skills!
Who pays for additional academic expenses?
Additional academic expenses should be addressed in your support or custody agreement. Typically, the custodial parent will bear the brunt of additional costs. However, the non-custodial parent will often agree to pay a share of extra expenses. It’s best to review your agreement prior to petitioning the court for a modification.
Do we need to tell the school?
You are not required to inform your child’s school of your divorce. However, it is a good idea to let the principal and guidance counselor know, so they can be on the lookout for any behavioral changes your child may experience. Provide the school with updated contact information, and request that they send copies of all documents to you and your ex. This way, you are both being kept up to date and informed during the school year.
How can we make the school year easier for our child?
Back to school time is hard for kids, especially those whose parents are getting a divorce. To make the transition easier, try to implement the following strategies:
- Create consistency between households (same rules, bedtimes, etc.)
- Have separate sets of school supplies, clothes, or uniforms at each household
- Create a schedule for visitation and parenting time, but remain flexible
- Let your child decorate a calendar that shows which parent the child will spend time with each day
- Encourage your child to video chat with your ex during your parenting time
- Never use your child as a messenger to relay information to your ex-spouse
Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C.
It is impossible to predict how well your family will handle the school year while in the midst of a divorce. It might not be easy, but that is why you need a top rated law firm by your side. The team of attorneys at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have represented thousands of New Yorkers in tough divorce and child custody matters.
For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, contact Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 today!