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4 back-to-school challenges divorced parents should discuss

Summer is almost over, and parents across Clarksville know that means one thing: It's almost time for the kids to go back to school. Once the school year kicks off again, schedules change and kids start having regular responsibilities they may not have had during the last couple of months.

As much as parents might look forward to this time of year, it can be a very difficult adjustment for those who are divorced and sharing custody of their kids, as discussed in this article. If you are divorced and going through back-to-school time for the first time, you will want to be prepared to confront the changes below and discuss them ahead of time with your ex.

  1. Schedule changes: If you currently exchange custody mid-week or every few days, you may need to reassess if your child attends school that is far away from one parent. If a child's school day ends at noon or early afternoon, you will also need to make sure you have a plan for childcare if you both work during those hours.
  2. Extracurricular activities: Whether your child plays sports, acts in plays or participates in various school groups, you will want to be clear on financial expectations of these activities. Further, you should have a plan for transporting your child to all the events.
  3. Attending school functions: Will you both be expected to attend conferences? Will it create problems if you both show up to your child's band concert? 
  4. Coordinating communication with the school: This can be one of the most critical aspects of a back-to-school childcare plan. You want to be sure you, your ex and the school are all on the same page in terms of who should be called in an emergency, who will be picking up/dropping off your child and whether the school should send duplicate report cards and other correspondence to each parent.

Hashing out these details now can save you and your child from some serious headaches and confusion once the school year is underway.

Should you run into more serious challenges with a parenting plan, it may be wise to consult an attorney to assess the possibility of formally modifying an existing plan.