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When back-to-school lands you back in court after divorce

As your summer vacation is winding down in Texas, you're probably doing the whole back-to-school shopping thing like most other parents of school-aged children. In fact, your children may already be back in class at their respective school locations. If you divorced over the summer, your current situation may be especially difficult; that is, back-to-school time might be even more challenging than usual. Hopefully, your former spouse is willing to cooperate and compromise whenever necessary to help your kids have a great school year.

You no doubt have thought ahead to what course of action you would take if some aspect of your divorce adversely affected your children's education. Perhaps there's an existing court order regarding custody and visitation that will intertwine with their sports activities or other school events. It's no easy task shuttling kids back and forth between separate households, keeping track of homework, backpacks and other school supplies, and basically just trying to keep the peace between you and their other parent to keep stress levels to a minimum.

These ideas may be helpful in your situation

One of the changes to which you and your children are adapting since your divorce may involve your own work schedule. Perhaps you had to seek outside employment for the first time in years or needed to increase the hours you spend at work in order to bring in more income. Either situation can make back-to-school time stressful, but the following tips may help you transition:

  • Implement family meetings: If you, your children and your former spouse get together for regular update meetings, you can use the time to make sure everyone is aware of important dates, times, assignments, upcoming trips, etc. Some families create printed schedules or use mobile apps so everyone has their own copies of the week's or month's information on hand.
  • Share shopping responsibilities: Even if you're the custodial parent, there's no reason you should have to do all the back-to-school shopping yourself. Making a list of needed supplies and divvying it up between parents is a swift means for de-stressing the back-to-school shopping experience. Perhaps you enjoy shopping for clothes but not art supplies, simply decide which parent will get which items and make sure both are aware of any deadlines for turning in supplies at school.
  • Attend school events at the same time: Getting a divorce doesn't mean you can't ever attend a school event for your child if your former spouse is going to be there too. In fact, it may help your children adapt to their new lifestyle if they get to enjoy both parents simultaneously on occasion.

Hopefully, you and your former spouse are on friendly enough terms that both are willing to put children's best interests ahead of any personal differences that might interfere with a peaceful back-to-school experience. If that's not the case and a problem arises that is negatively affecting your children's return to school or your rights as a parent are being undermined in some way, you may wish to do what other Texas parents in similar situations have done by reaching out for support.

Sometimes, a trip back to court is necessary to resolve a particular situation. Such circumstances are often quite stressful and may be less so if you rely on an experienced attorney for help.

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