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Co-parenting through the school year

In a matter of days, your children will be heading back to school. You may want more than anything for this school year to start as smoothly as possible for both you and the kids. Any conflict between you and your ex may set a negative tone for the year, and you certainly want to avoid that.

In the days ahead, you may increase the chances of a peaceful sendoff if you and your former partner can break down any communication barriers and work out a plan. This may include spending time with your ex to identify the potential triggers and agreeing to a method for keeping the kids at the center of your decisions.

Making it work with your co-parent

Communication during the school year is critical for co-parents. It is unfair, and perhaps a violation of your custody orders, for one parent to intentionally withhold information from the other, such as homework projects, special events and teacher conferences. Most children benefit from the involvement of both parents, and when you and your ex present a united front regarding your children's education, they may intuit the importance of doing their best in school. Some ways in which you can accomplish this include the following:

  • Create a joint email account that your children's schools can use for any communication. Rather than depending on the school to contact you separately, a joint account can give you both access to the same information.
  • Spend time with your ex completing the many forms your children bring home. If you both fill out the health and emergency forms, you will be on the same page regarding these urgent matters.
  • You and your ex may also benefit from working out a schedule for extra activities. This will provide an added sense of stability for the kids as well.
  • Figure out the most effective way to communicate regularly with your ex. You may wish to explore some of the apps available that allow weekly exchanges of information between parents.

The most critical thing to remember is that conflicts will arise throughout the school year. If you and your parenting partner can keep the best interests of the children first in your mind, you may be able to work through these conflicts in a civil and even friendly manner.

However, if conflicts arise that jeopardize the well-being of the children or infringe on your parental rights, you would be wise to seek legal advice. In fact, before agreeing to any custody changes that contradict a court order, reaching out to a Texas family law attorney is wise.

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