Thursday, August 23, 2018
Summer is rapidly coming to a close, which means that school will be starting up soon. As you buy school supplies, new clothes and other items for the beginning of the school year, you may want to take one more step — review your parenting plan.
Even if it isn’t the first year that you will test your parenting plan, a refresher after the summer months wouldn’t hurt. If your divorce was recently finalized, you may be about to see whether your negotiations for a parenting plan paid off.
Communication is key
Each parent has the right to know what goes on the classroom and out of it. Making sure that the lines of communication remain open among you, the other parent and the school can be a challenge at times. It starts with making sure that the school is aware of the divorce and your custody arrangements. It’s not necessary to explain why you divorced, just how you intend to handle issues such as pickups, drop offs and parent-teacher conferences.
The more school officials and teachers know about your arrangements, the less likely a miscommunication will occur. In fact, as soon as you receive information regarding the first day of school, supply lists and the like, you may want to get that information to the other parent as soon as possible in the manner in which you agreed upon in your parenting plan. This sets the tone for the year and shows that you intend to share information with the other parent.
Let go of your urge to control everything
When you negotiated your parenting plan, you probably resolved issues regarding routines, discipline and homework. Coming to a consensus on these issues then — and documenting them — allows each of you the freedom not to worry about what goes on when the children are with the other parent. This means that you would have to let go of control and trust that the other parent is following the plan.
If you find out later that isn’t the case, then you can still turn to your parenting plan to work out a solution to the problem. Part of the functionality of a parenting plan is to allow both parents to have their time with the children without interference from the other. Each parent agrees to follow a loosely devised routine and remain touch with the other when issues arise.
Lastly, you may end up having to defer to your children’s teachers. They are more than likely busy with their duties, which means that they may not be able to duplicate their efforts in order to keep both parents advised of what goes on in the classroom. Again, this means that you and the other parent will need to remember the rules you set up in your plan. If either parent violates those rules, and your conflict resolution method fails, then you may need to return to court for help.