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Lutins & Pilgreen, PC - Family, Criminal law
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Successful co-parenting during the start of the school year

For many students in Virginia, the start of a new school year is a stressful time. They often face a new schedule with new activities and a great deal of uncertainty of what their new day will look like. While this is true regardless of whether a child’s parents are married, some studies show that divorce can negatively impact a child’s school performance. Fortunately, there are some measures that parents who are co-parenting can take to help ease their children into a new school year and decrease tension and anxiety for all involved.

One way to help reduce conflict between parents is to ensure that the parenting agreement provides specific details about what each parent will be responsible for paying and decisions will be made. Such a document can ensure that the intentions and expectations are clear. Family law professionals also recommend reviewing that agreement prior to the start of the new year so both parents are fully apprised of the terms of the agreement.

Another way to reduce stress for both parents and children at the beginning of the school year is to communicate before the school year starts regarding expectations about sports and other extracurricular activities. If parents are unable to agree and cause a delay in the child’s participation, the stress of the child can increase. Often, the child could miss out on an activity because the parents cannot make a decision prior to the start of the activity. Beginning a conversation early in the summer allows decisions to be made in advance, ensuring that there are no delays.

One way to keep the lines of communication open and maintain an effective co-parenting relationship is through the creation of a shared calendar. This tool allows both parents to be aware of practices and teacher meetings, among other events, ensuring that they are informed of a change in schedule that might require a modification and allowing both parents to be active participants in the child’s activities. An attorney with experience with family law can help parents in Virginia create parenting plans that include all pertinent agreements and also seek to modify an existing agreement as necessary.

J. Emmette Pilgreen IV
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