Hayes, Williams, Turner & Daughtry, P.A.

Back-to-school time can make co-parenting tough

In many areas, the steady signs that summer is almost over are appearing: School clothes are in the stores, school supply lists have been posted and parents are gearing up for the first day of a new school year.

That can suddenly throw the co-parenting routine you've established into a jumble -- especially if your child or children are transitioning schools, such as moving on from grade school into middle school or middle school into high school.

Here are biggest problems divorced parents face as the new school year starts: Their kids are growing. Growing means changing. Changing means developing new interests and needs. That means that the old co-parenting routine might not work for your kids any longer. If it doesn't work for your kids, it sure won't work for you and your ex-spouse.

Here are a few things you can do to make back-to-school time easier:

1. Expect changes

This year, your son might want to take band or your daughter might decide to get involved in E-sports. Whatever their new interests, it is bound to affect the parenting time you have worked out with your ex. Sit down with your children and your ex and see what kind of new agreement you can hammer out.

2. Share information

If you're the one with most of the school information, make sure your ex knows when all the parent-teacher conferences, band concerts and school plays are happening. Don't make them plead to be involved in your children's lives. It's important for your child to have both parents' support.

3. Share the financial burden

Usually, child support isn't enough to cover unexpected back-to-school costs. Share the additional costs as much as possible and try to be fair.

If these tips don't work, it may be time to talk to an attorney about your co-parenting schedule. Our office can give you an honest assessment of your situation and how we might be able to help.

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