How to Deal With Back-to-School Schedules During Divorce

Going through a divorce is a tough transition for all those involved. School can bring some much-needed structure and stability back into the child’s life during a time that can be quite tumultuous for them at home. During summer, visitation schedules are a bit more flexible. When school starts back up, both parents may feel as though they have lost considerable time with their child. It is easy to go on the defensive when talking about sharing that valuable evening time during your divorce. However, there are a few things that you can do to make the adjustment of back-to-school easier on everyone.

  • Keep It Consistent
    • When you are creating a schedule, make sure that you stick to it. During a divorce, a child’s life changes in a big way. Being able to rely on a schedule will help your child in coping with this significant change. If a plan has to be adjusted, make sure to tell your child ahead of time so they can mentally prepare.
  • Create a Calendar
    • Depending on the child’s age, you can create a giant weekly calendar to hang on the wall and let the child decorate it. Show your child what is happening on each day with stickers or drawings so they can better visualize your weekly schedule. For parents, creating a shared online calendar is a great way to keep in touch with visitation, doctor’s appointments, and school events without having to communicate directly. This can help keep you organized and avoid conflict.
  • Talk to the School
    • While it may feel awkward, it is essential to let your child’s school understand that your family is going through a divorce. You will want to provide the school with information on who should pick up your child on that day. Notifying teachers and administrators can help explain your child’s behavior if they are having a rough day. Typically, teachers will pick up on significant behavior changes, and they will be able to be better prepared to assist your child. The school may also be able to provide counseling and other resources for children going through a divorce.

Parenting Plans

The best way to establish a back-to-school visitation schedule is through mediation. If you are going through a divorce or preparing for a separation, contact the West Coast Family Mediation Center for a consultation. We offer low-conflict problem-solving options with the ability for you to create mutually beneficial solutions.

by: Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer with west coast family mediation center

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