Back-to-school tips for co-parents

In a matter of weeks, kids across Pennsylvania will be back in school. If you are a parent, this can mean soaking in the last weeks of summer vacation with your kids and doing some back-to-school shopping.

If you are a co-parent, however, you should also think about getting your parenting plans ready for the new school year. Below are some tips for how you can do this.

  1. Review your parenting agreement. Whether your parenting plan is brand new or years old, you should review it before big changes like a new school year. Pay special attention to adjustments to your parenting time, holiday schedules and what you and the other parent of your child agreed to in terms of responsibilities like school shopping.
  2. Talk to your child about any schedule changes. Summer schedules are often different for kids. They might sleep in and stay up later; they might get dropped off at day care instead of taking the bus to school; they might have spent a lot more time with one parent while they were out of school. Talking to your child about how his or her daily schedule will change when school starts can prevent confusion and upsetting surprises.
  3. Figure out the logistics of your child’s first day. Will both parents bring a child to school or the bus stop on the first day? Who will be there for pick-up? Think about these and other logistical details to avoid awkward or stressful situations for you and your child.
  4. Address any extra expenses for school supplies. Whether you pay or receive child support, it is unlikely that you will make any significant adjustments to cover basic school supplies. However, if there is a special expense, like a new computer, it can be wise for parents to discuss such expenses ahead of time.

These tips can help co-parents and kids make the back-to-school adjustment a little easier. Should larger issues arise involving parenting time or child support, it can be crucial to address these before school starts as well. 

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