Burke Levy, P.C.

The school year, family law and co-parenting

School is back in session in much of the country now, including here in Leominster. As the kids get reacquainted with each other, acquainted with their teachers and familiar with what will be expected of them during the year, many parents are attempting to implement their school year co-parenting. When it comes to family law issues regarding the children, parents may need to take some time to make sure their plans will work and that both parents on the same page. 

For example, a new teacher may not be aware that emails or other messages regarding a student need to go to both parents, not just one. Each parent should make sure the other receives a copy of any communications with a teacher as well. If possible, it would be beneficial to attend parent-teacher conferences together. This allows each parent to hear the same information and to ask questions that the other parent may not have considered.

Illnesses happen, and the other parent needs to know when the child is home sick. While one parent cares for the child, the other may be responsible for picking up any work that was, or will be, missed. How will parents deal with school projects, events and other obligations? Parents can share a calendar so that each receives updates as they are made.

When creating a parenting plan, these types of issues can be addressed ahead of time. If a parenting plan is already in place, but turns out to be deficient, adjustments may be required in order to help ensure a smooth school year for everyone involved, especially the children. The schools can only do so much, and the rest is up to the Leominster parents. Fortunately, family law help is available to make sure that a parenting plan covers all of the issues important to the family.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Eight Tips for Co-parenting Through the School Year After Divorce", Carla Schiff Donnelly, Sept. 1, 2017

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