When children in Florida head back to school, it can be an exciting yet stressful time. If a particular child’s parents have recently filed for divorce, back-to-school stress may be intensified, especially if the parents in question have a contentious relationship. Co-parents can help kids avoid unnecessary stress by keeping several things in mind as they prepare for their first school year after divorce.
Build a strong support network from the start
It’s understandable that a parent would want to keep his or her personal life private regarding divorce. However, it is a good idea to make sure that children know where to turn for support if a specific issue is causing problems at school. Informing teachers, coaches and other adults, such as the parents of a child’s close friend, that a divorce has taken place over the summer can help make the transition back to school as smooth as possible.
Connect with other families who have navigated divorce
Children tend to internalize family situations, including divorce. They might feel it is their fault or be embarrassed to tell friends at school that their parents are no longer a married couple. Connecting with other families who have gone through similar experiences can help kids cope with a recent divorce.
Dealing with logistical issues, legal issues and more
The best way for co-parents to avoid back-to-school stress after divorce is to execute a detailed co-parenting agreement as part of child custody proceedings. Avoid confusion about who can pick up or drop off kids at school or other activities, as well as which parent should attend which special events by incorporating terms of agreement into the custody plan. If a legal dispute arises at any time during the school year, a concerned parent may request a meeting with an experienced family law attorney for support.