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Family law co-parenting

When it comes to family law co-parenting, navigating the back-to-school season involves more than just shopping for supplies and readjusting sleep routines; it becomes particularly crucial when supporting your child through their first school year post-divorce. Effective co-parenting is key to ensuring a productive and successful academic journey. Distributing responsibilities between parents not only reduces the workload but also presents a unified front for the children, fostering a sense of security and connection with both parents.  Here are our tips for back to school when co-parenting.

Family law co-parenting – 8 best tips:

1. Plan to succeed

Family law co-parenting involves good planning, so before the first day of school, discuss and plan the support your children will need, particularly considering the likely increasing homework load.  Collaborate on homework assistance, leveraging each parent’s strengths in specific subjects.  Don’t forget to include stepparents in these discussions, as they too play an essential role in the children’s lives.

2. Stick to the rules

Support your children by adhering closely to your parenting plan, if you have one.  If no plan is in place, take advantage of school drop-offs and pick-ups to facilitate smooth changeovers.

3. Keep school in the loop

When it comes to family law co-parenting it’s also a good idea to communicate the current parenting schedule to the school and clarify responsibility arrangements.  Ensure the school is aware of the current parenting situation and has updated contact information for both parents.  Inform teachers and counsellors about the children’s situation, and to be alert to potential emotional disturbance in your child, so you can take advantage of any school supports that are available.   Ask for both parents to be sent copies of any paperwork, like report cards, and forms and letters that are sent home.

You may wish to acquaint yourself with exactly what schools’ rights and responsibilities are when it comes to family law matters.

4. Establish a routine for back to school

Creating a routine is vital for helping children adjust to their “new normal.”  Consistent schedules provide stability and allow children to anticipate time with each parent.  Maintain a parenting plan that is easy to remember for both children and parents, and ensure you communicate over any variations to schedules.

Part of establishing a routine involves coordinating activities and schedules between households. You can maintain consistency in bedtime, homework, screen time, and other daily activities across homes to reinforce a united front in caring for the children.

5. Set up a joint calendar

Facilitate schedule coordination for family law co-parenting by keeping a joint calendar between co-parents, such as an easily accessible online shared calendar. Include school schedules and events on the academic calendar, parent-teacher conference information, extracurricular activities, medical appointments, holidays, and school events like plays or fundraisers.  Regularly check backpacks for school-related information, make copies of notices, and share crucial details with the other parent.

6. Reach an agreement about expenses

Address the financial aspects of back-to-school by using an online tracker for expenses and reimbursements.  Discuss the timeframe for reimbursements, including school supplies, excursions, book fairs, and lunches.

7.  Help your child with how to handle curious classmates

It’s common that children whose family situation has changed will face questions from friends and classmates about their new home situation.  It can be a good idea to plan ahead for this, and give your child some strategies for how to respond.  Let them know they don’t have to discuss matters, and how they might approach tackling any questions that feel too personal.  If necessary, you could roleplay the situation.

8. Family law co-parenting means getting involved

Demonstrate your commitment to family law co-parenting with your children by actively participating in their activities, attending events, and communicating regularly with teachers.  Involvement fosters a supportive and united environment for your children to thrive.

Making sure you stay in good communication with your co-parent, keep consistent schedules, and stay involved in your children’s school life will all ensure you set yourself up to best transition to co-parenting your school aged children for back to school after the holidays.

Do you need assistance with a family law matter?  Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400.

Please note our blogs are not legal advice.  For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Family Law.


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