Every milestone or holiday the first year after divorce comes with challenges. During back-to-school season especially, emotions are high. Navigating your changing feelings about your former spouse, interacting with your ex in new ways, and managing the anxiety of your kids are landmines. What’s important is respecting your kids’ needs after your Michigan divorce, no matter what time of year it is.
Have both of you always taken your child to the first day of school together, happily gathering at the bus stop or walking into the classroom as a family unit? It’s hard to fake it, especially when divorce is so fresh.
Kids who sense the tension between their parents can resent interference with the change they’re currently experiencing. Discussing your child’s hopes for how they see the first day of school will pan out better than trying to hit the target on your own. Above all, don’t make your child pick a team.
It’s no longer, mom does drop-off and dad does pick-up. It’s now, mom does drop-off from her house and dad does pick-up and we go to his house. Kids are the ones who feel the push and pull of divorce the most during back-to-school. Their usual routine has been altered, and not just because they’ve chosen a new extracurricular activity.
Come up with a parenting plan surrounding school that you can live with and that’s fair to your kids. The most important thing is to help your kids focus so they can succeed. Eliminate the relationship drama so they’re not distracted by it. Your kids need is to feel like you are both invested and engaged in what they have going on so there is some normalcy to this new way of life.
If kids are splitting parenting time between mom and dad during the week, things will get complicated. There are different bus schedules to keep track of and the need to remember to bring home books and binders that might or might not be needed. Inevitably, shuffling sports equipment or musical instruments around will result in something being forgotten and kids being stressed.
Kids are caught in the demands of post-divorce amid the emotions of adjusting to a new year at school. When you have joint custody, you have joint responsibilities, and that includes keeping the best interests of your kids at the forefront.
The Bright Side
Some kids thrive after divorce, especially when school begins. They have consistency, at least for a set number of hours, five days a week, and appreciate this constant. Some parents try to make divorce as easy as possible on the kids, making sure that the weekdays are always the same so there is no confusion about who needs to be where and when. They save parenting time switches for weekends and holidays and share responsibilities when it comes to back-to-school nights or school performances and parent-teacher conferences.
If you need help developing a successful parenting plan as you begin your Michigan divorce, or want to change your existing divorce settlement, schedule your consultation with a Michigan divorce lawyer at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Contact us today.