Divorce brings about significant changes in the dynamics of a family. When children are involved, these changes ripple into every aspect of their lives, including their education.
As the school year approaches, recently divorced co-parents can find themselves facing a new set of challenges. Now that you and your co-parent are living separate lives, you have to communicate more about your expectations – particularly where the children are concerned.
Here are two situations that you should discuss before they become an issue:
How do you plan to handle snow days?
Living in New York, you have to anticipate snow days a few times each school year. Those can be problematic under any situation, but co-parents need to have plans when they’re living in different households and following a parenting time schedule.
Address questions like:
- If school is called off before it starts and the children are supposed to transfer to the other parent’s house that day, how will you decide if it’s safe to travel and make the switch?
- If school is canceled early, who will be responsible for picking the children up or making sure that child care arrangements are in place?
- How will you communicate about what’s happening in the moment, such as via chat or text, to make sure that everybody is on the same page?
Clear guidelines and established communication methods can help you and your co-parent avoid problems that could cause you to duplicate efforts – or leave your children stranded.
Who will take responsibility for sick days and pick-ups?
Schools are breeding grounds for every kind of germ imaginable, so your children are almost bound to have a few sick days. Again, cooperation and flexibility are key to handling these disruptions in routine.
Talk about things like:
- Do you have a shared understanding of what it means for a child to be “too sick” to attend school?
- Who will pick up a child who gets sick at school if they need to go home or be seen in urgent care?
- How will a child’s illness affect the parenting time schedule? Is there wisdom in keeping a sick child from trading households until they’ve recovered?
Again, you should also agree (in advance) on the best way to communicate what’s happening. That can keep confusion to a minimum and make sure that your child gets the immediate attention they may need.
Many newly divorced parents don’t realize just how many things need to be discussed, and just what sort of things need to be put in writing as they develop their parenting plans. Fortunately, parenting plans can be modified to meet newly realized needs. Experienced legal guidance can help.
At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know needs to revise their parenting plan, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.
Let Me Be Your Brave
Mia Poppe, Esq.