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Making sure a child custody arrangement works for the school year

School has started here in Stamford, and that often means chaotic mornings, long drop off lines and extracurricular activities, along with homework. These days are often challenging enough in a home with two parents, but when the parents are divorced and living in separate homes, they can present an even larger challenge. That is, unless the parents took the time to put provisions into place for the school year when they made their child custody arrangements.

Were communications with the school discussed? Do the children's teachers know to include both parents in any communications? Does each parent know to include the other in any communications with teachers or the school?

Provisions regarding the attendance AT school functions including parent-teacher conferences may also be included. Each parent can express concerns, hear the teacher's concerns and discuss solutions that both parents can implement and oversee. The same goes for homework and project requirements of the children. Each parent needs to know what is due and when in order to eliminate any confusion and the child is not the one who suffers for the parents' lack of coordination. Unplanned absences such as illnesses also need some notification requirement to the other parent.

Memorializing these types of issues in a child custody agreement can help each parent understand their obligations to the school, the other parent and, of course, the children. This may be a good time to review those provisions to make sure that they cover everything. It is not always easy to remember all of the important tasks when preparing such agreements. If a Stamford parent's plan needs some modifications in order to work better, it may be a good idea to discuss those changes with an attorney so they can be approved by the court.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Eight Tips for Co-parenting Through the School Year After Divorce", Carla Schiff Donnelly, Sept. 1, 2017

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