Top 5 Tips to Make School Demands Easier for Divorced Parents – Advice from a Grand Rapids Family Law Attorney

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2016 | Divorce |

Two separate wedding rings next to the word "divorce"

Even amicable divorces can lead to arguments, and the discord does not necessarily stop after the divorce finalizes. Often, disputes arise when parents cannot meet the demands of the parenting schedule. Michigan Courts provide extensive advice and even a template for the ideal parenting schedule, but it fails to tackle the issue of school demands. It will be easier to manage your child’s education and avoid conflicts with the other parent if you account for schooling in the parenting plan. If you are considering divorce in Michigan, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. A family law attorney in Grand Rapids can help you avoid mistakes during the divorce process. We are state-approved mediators in domestic relations mediation. Call 616-369-7452 to schedule a free, half-hour confidential consultation. You can also visit to learn more about divorce laws in Michigan. Here are five tips that can help you manage your children’s school demands:

  1. Create a school calendar for the entire year.

Meet your ex in a neutral location, such as a library or café, to create a schedule for your child’s schooling. Make a copy of the school calendar and bring it with you. If you do not feel safe meeting with your spouse, discuss this with your family law attorney or mediator. The goal is to create a school calendar that includes every event in the school year. Each parent should understand his or her responsibilities related to these events, and the calendar should complement your original parenting plan. It is important to fit school events into your custody agreement without making too many changes to the original agreement. A school plan must have enough flexibility to allow for compromise because both parents will encounter unexpected obligations.

  1. Add pick-up responsibilities to your school calendar.

When parents forget or miscommunicate pick-up responsibilities, it can have a negative effect on a child’s sense of security. A calendar with preplanned dates for pick-ups and drop-offs can help you avoid these scenarios. If commitments arise or one parent falls ill, then there must a flexible backup plan. You will need to inform the school about who has authority to pick up the children from school. Custody X Change explains that you will have to give all of their contact details to the school, as well as the addresses for your child’s primary and secondary residences.

  1. Avoid making custody swaps at your child’s school.

Many parents believe that school provides the ideal opportunity for custody swaps. This, however, can cause problems – particularly for your child. Angry, tense exchanges for the school to witness will embarrass everyone and make it awkward for parents to handle school demands effectively. Choose a neutral location away from school for custody swaps.

  1. Do not allow your child to become the school messenger.

You and your ex should communicate with each other about your child’s school. Children should not have the burden of relaying messages or reminding you of important events or activities. If, for example, your child will have an early release day tomorrow, then email your ex to remind him or her about the early pick-up. This rule should apply to any school situation or visitation change.

  1. Be proactive about helping your child with homework.

The custodial parent is the one who typically deals with homework. For this reason, most custody agreements do not even mention it. Homework responsibility lies with the parent looking after the child when the projects are due. If you are hosting your child, then be proactive about helping him or her with homework. If you are facing divorce or a child custody dispute in Michigan, contact Gordon & Hess, PLC. A Grand Rapids divorce lawyer can answer your questions and demystify the divorce process. Call 616-369-7452 to schedule a free half-hour consultation.