Co-parenting comes with its own set of challenges. However, when it comes to your child, you and your former partner want to be united. There is no better opportunity for the two of you to practice cohesive co-parenting than when your child returns to school.
You, your former partner, and your child will have to adjust to a certain type of rhythm when school starts back up. Try the following tips from Talking Parents to help strengthen your parental relationships with your former partner.
Stay in Constant Communication
Whether you or your partner have sole custody or joint custody, you want to ensure that both of you are on the same page. There are several ways that you two can stay in constant communication regarding your child’s needs. You can create a group text for the two of you or include other family members if you like.
Set a Routine Schedule
You and your partner also want to establish a routine schedule for your child. All children thrive when they have a set routine in their life. If you and your partner have a visitation schedule, you want to ensure that both of you are following that schedule. Setting a reasonable schedule helps bring a sense of security to your child.
You can use scheduling tools if your child wants to participate in extracurricular activities. There are several apps that you can use to create a yearly calendar and keep track of your child’s events. You can share these apps and links with your partner and family members so everyone can be on the same page. These apps can also cut the time it would take for you to constantly call and text everyone.
Coordinate Help With Homework
Another topic that you and your partner want to agree on is how to tackle your child’s homework. Your child will treat their academic goals as seriously as you and your partner take them. Even while living apart, the two of you want to discuss a time and plan to help your child with their assignments.
Divide Costs For Clothes and School Supplies
Part of cohesive co-parenting is dividing the costs of your child’s needs for school and home. Once you and your partner know your child’s first day of school, you need to discuss how the child’s clothes and school supplies will be paid for.
Being proactive in figuring out who will pay for what will help eliminate much of the confusion in the future. You and your partner will also avoid paying for the same things and wasting additional money.
Meet Your Child’s Teachers Together
Another important thing you and your partner want to do is meet your child’s teachers together. All your child’s teachers need to know who the two of you are and your living arrangements. When it comes to your child’s education, it takes a team.
The more your child’s teacher knows of your situation, the more prepared the teacher can be for any emotional changes your child may experience. You do not have to share every personal detail, but at least inform the teacher of your living situation.
Gather All Necessary Information From Your Child’s School
In addition to meeting your child’s teachers, you want to ensure that your child’s school has all the necessary contact information. All schools require emergency contact information for each child. You want to ensure that your partner is listed as an emergency contact, so there are no issues when they want to pick them up from school and vice versa.
Keep Child Support Issues Away From Your Child
The school year comes with additional finances. If you and your partner want to consider changes to the child support arrangements, handle it in court. Do not discuss any matters around your child or fight about child support issues around your child.
You also do not want to use your child’s school expenses as an excuse not to pay your child support payments. The courts will not accept it, which can cause tension between you and your partner. If you have issues paying for your child’s school expenses, it is best to let your partner know and see if you can come to a mutual understanding.
Stay United With Your Partner
The school year will not be perfect. There may be times when your child struggles with their grades. If this happens, you do not want to blame the other for your child’s challenges. Avoid bad-mouthing one another with the school faculty, and just focus on your child’s best interests. Even if you and your partner cannot stand each other, at least stay united when it comes to your child’s academic needs.
Support One Another
In addition to keeping a united front with the school, you want to keep a united front with your child. You and your partner do not want to be viewed as the bad parent and the fun parent. You want to ensure that you support each other when making and setting rules.
Plan Ahead For The Holidays
Once you and your partner know what your child’s school year will look like, you want to plan holidays accordingly. There may also be days in the school year when your child will not attend school. You and your partner want to discuss your child’s time at each household. You also want to give each other as much time as possible to plan for these times off in advance.
Schedule A Consultation With Our Family Law Attorneys In New Jersey Today
Successfully co-parenting and helping your child have a successful school year does not need to be difficult, even when you’re going through divorce. At Stolfe Zeigler New Jersey Family Law Group, our family law attorneys are dedicated to helping you and your partner design the best cohesive co-parenting plan. Call our office at 732-240-9555, or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation.