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Tips for Co-Parenting During Back-to-School Time

 Posted on August 18, 2016 in Child Custody

Napeville family law attorneyMost parents rejoice as the summer winds down and their children prepare for another school year. Routines can be re-established, homework and after school sports will keep the kids busy, and parents can enjoy some much needed relaxation time. For many co-parents and those in blended families, however, the transition to back to school for their kids can be a time of challenge and stress. Co-parenting is a wonderful way for divorced parents to both remain present and active in their children’s lives, but back-to-school time opens up a door for a lot of potential conflict and stressful communication. Who gets to take the kids to their first day of school? Who will attend their parent-teacher conferences? To what extent are stepparents and other family members involved? To avoid conflict while preparing your children for another school year, and to keep communication between you and your ex as smooth as possible, follow these helpful tips for co-parents:

Follow Your Parenting Plan

Stay ahead of the game by following your customized parenting plan. If you and your co-parent do not have a plan in place, design and implement one now. Your parenting plan should answer specific questions about parenting time and parental responsibilities, so there is no need for unnecessary confusion. Who gets to attend parent-teacher conferences? Detail that in your plan, if it is not already discussed. By solving these types of problems ahead of time, you and your co-parent and any other involved family members know exactly what is expected of them as the school year begins.

Set Expectations

You and your co-parent need to know what is expected of each of you when it comes to parenting during the school year. Who is going to help with homework? Who is available to assist with an extracurricular activity? Maybe mom helps one child and dad is responsible for helping the other. There is no right answer, but whatever arrangement you and your co-parent decide upon should be detailed in your parenting plan to eliminate confusion in the future.

Plan for Extracurriculars

Both parents should discuss what is feasible in terms of extracurricular activities. Perhaps a child wants to play soccer, but the times of soccer practice negatively impact one parent’s allotted parenting time. Co-parents must ensure that any after school or extra activity their child participates in will work for both parents. Plan out all the logistics, and then discuss things with your children. It is important to talk as co-parents first, before involving the children. Once you and your ex decide what you both can reasonably commit to, fill the children in. Avoid making promises to the kids that you logistically cannot keep.

Remember Your Priorities

Remember that the goal in mapping out back-to-school plans is to keep your children happy, healthy, and successful. Do you want to be the parents at parent-teacher conferences who are bickering, or can not even say each other’s names without frowning? Or do you want to present yourselves as genuinely involved parents? Back to school time opens a door for conflict, but conflict does not have to arise.

Need Legal Help?

At Pesce Law Group, P.C., we offer a variety of services to help parents, children, and families through difficult times like divorce. If you are in need of legal assistance, contact a member of our team today. Call 630-352-2240 to speak to a qualified Naperville family law attorney to set up a free consultation with us.


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