Negotiating a Back to School Parenting Plan
Co-parenting after a divorce can prove a daunting task, even when both parents are very involved with their children. The key to successful co-parenting is to keep an open line of communication and create a plan that both parties can live with. We have been involved with drafting and revising many parenting plans at Simpson Legal Group, LLC.
Review Your Divorce Decree
The first place to start is with your original divorce decree, which most likely incorporates a parenting plan. Many of the issues may already be addressed in this document. However, if it has been a while since the decree was entered, many of the old plans and rules may not effectively address the current issues you are facing. After all, as children age, their needs change. Because of this, it may be a good idea to renegotiate the plan to effectively meet the current needs of your children, yourself, and your ex-spouse.
Items to Consider
When ex-spouses negotiate, it is imperative that they address all issues that may arise. Some of the more common back-to-school topics that we have seen ex-spouses argue over are listed below. If agreements can be reached on these issues, going back to school can be easy for all parties.
Back to School Expenses
Sending children back to school can be expensive. Children will often need books that aren’t provided by the school, as well as school supplies, such as paper, pens, calculators, and binders. In addition, they may need uniforms or other clothing that complies with their school dress code. These items can quickly add up, and parents need to address who will pay for them. It may be best to do a 50/50 split, or each parent can pay a certain percentage based on their income.
Transportation to and from school is another matter to be addressed. If the children ride the bus, it shouldn’t be a major issue. However, if the children do not ride the bus or need to be transported somewhere besides their house after school, transportation needs to be discussed and an agreement reached. This is also an important issue when children become involved in after-school activities. Parents should address who pays for these activities and who is responsible for transporting the children back and forth to them.
Formalizing the Agreement
If you and your former (or soon-to-be former) spouse can reach amicable terms for the back-to-school parenting plan, it is still necessary to have a judge approve the plan and sign off on it before it can be an order. Our firm can help with this process.
An Experienced Family Law Attorney Here To Help You
Divorce is never easy. At Simpson Legal Group, LLC, we help our clients navigate the waters of divorce and child custody arrangements, so they don’t have to go it alone. Contact us to schedule an appointment so you can learn more about how we can provide the assistance you need.