When parents end their romantic relationship, they have to divide parenting time and other responsibilities to the children. If your children were quite young when you first separated or if you are still in the early stages of preparing for divorce, you may not yet have a parenting plan in place that discusses the division of parental responsibilities during the school year.
Having your children attend school will create new challenges as you attempt to co-parent with your ex. What do you need to consider when dividing parenting time during the school year?
The career demands of the parents
One of the most pressing considerations when dividing parenting time throughout the school year is the availability of the parents to take care of the children. Parents who work high-demand jobs that they cannot leave during the day will have a harder time fulfilling their obligations to their children should unusual circumstances arise.
For example, if your child has a disciplinary issue or falls ill at school, a parent may need to go pick them up from school and then transparent them to childcare facilities or stay home with the child. There needs to be a parent available to take responsibility on any given school day, and that division of time will reflect the work the parents do.
How school obligations may change a child’s schedule
Another important consideration is how the requirements for school and any extracurricular activities a child engages in will limit how much free time a child has while simultaneously forcing them to keep a strict bedtime schedule.
Afternoon visits may no longer be realistic when a child has school obligations or may need to last for only an hour or two so that they have time to do homework and settle in for the evening.
What academic expectations you hold
Parents help set the tone for a child’s academic success by imposing certain standards and expectations. If you and your ex do not agree about what kind of academic performance you expect from your child, you may have a harder time working cooperatively to promote optimal success and personal growth in school.
Talking with your ex about the kind of school performance that you expect from your child so that the two of you have similar standards will help you both support and guide your child through their school years. Addressing major concerns in your parenting plan will help make the transition to the school season easier for your family.