04 Mar Child Custody: Child’s Education after Divorce
1. Educational Costs Are the Responsibility of Both Parents
After a divorce, co-parenting can be difficult. However, it doesn’t have to be. For many parents, this may seem harder to do than to say, but it is possible. To effectively co-parent, both parents need to be able to reach a point where they can treat each other with civil respect. Just like any other endeavor involving the child, parental responsibility, including educational costs, are the responsibility of both parents. How do we do this? What is the easiest way to co-parent a child who is in school?
2. Keep Both Parents on the Same Page
The first thing that you can do is make sure that your co-parent is “on the same page” as you. This requires a high level of communication. Even if you feel like you’re communicating with the other parent more than the other parent talks with you, you need to continue this amount of communication. There are several things you can do to keep the lines of communication open. The easiest thing you can do is maintain a calendar between both parents. While a printed calendar can work, electronic calendars work better. If you plan on keeping a printed calendar, make sure that you hold frequent meetings with the other parent to make sure that you and your ex-partner are on the same page.
3. Coparenting: The Child
As a co-parent, shopping is one of the things that should be accounted for in the child support calculation. That fact is that children tend to be more costly to raise as they become older.They need more food, different school supplies for various projects, and will be involved in various extracurricular activities which will require parental contributions. Your job is to make sure that your child has what he or she needs. You can help recover some of this expense in one of two ways. You or your partner can do all of the shopping at once and split the bill, or you can both go shopping together, or you can attempt to revamp the parenting plan.
Daily School Work and Projects
Children have various needs that must be addressed during the course of the school year. They need to have their own bed, bedroom and their own sense of space. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to go to your child to make sure that they are doing their school work – not the other way around. Don’t expect your children to go to you. Everything that the child does is your business. This includes your child’s school, teacher and even friends.
Important School Events
As time goes on, you’ll find many different ways to be involved in your child’s school life. This can be anything from parent-teacher conferences to showing up for your child’s ballgame. Take every opportunity you can to make sure that you’re doing your best be a part of your child’s sphere of influence. Use the school calendar to your advantage. Make sure that you and the other parent both have a copy of the school calendar and that you both coordinate and communicate rides, babysitting, and just being there for your child.
Do Not Communicate with the Other Parent “Through” Your Child
Whenever you are with your child, please remember that children have “big ears”. Don’t bring up child support obligations or any kind of content that you might deem inappropriate for your child’s eyes or ears. They will remember what you say and do. Don’t ever demean or undermine the authority of the other parent in front of your child. Bear in mind that your relationship with your child is just as important to you as the relationship your child has with her previous partner. Don’t put conflicting ideas in your child’s mind – it’s not fair to the other parent or your child.
4. Coparenting: The Parents
Co-parenting can only work if you can maintain a civil relationship with the other parent based on mutual respect. On that note, the other half of co-parenting is keeping open lines of communication with the other parent.
Maintain a Separate Backpack
Consider maintaining a separate bag to pass back and forth between you and the other parent. Don’t rely on your child’s school backpack or your child for this. It takes some of the responsibility off of the back of the child, and it places it back in the hands the parents. The rule surrounding this bag should be that this bag is for the parents – not the child. This allows you to pass items such as school uniforms, calendars and notes back and forth between you and the other parent.
Focus on the Child
Your relationship with the other parent is solely based on your relationship with your child. You are now divorced. You no longer have to maintain a relationship outside of your child with the other parent. On the same note, the other parent now has the freedom to do what he or she wants without your input – as long as this freedom does not affect your child. Any decision that affects your child is something you need to be in communication about. This includes living situations, job situations and even future dating partners. Be conscious of the situation that you are in, and make sure that you offer your previous partner the same courtesies and freedoms that you expect to receive.