For Denver parents that recently divorced, the first season of the school year can be especially challenging. Their children will now come home to a household with only one parent after a tough day of classes.
Several studies link divorces to a decline in a child’s academic performance. Last year, Iowa State University found that 27 percent of children with divorced parents earn a bachelor’s degree or higher, which is 23 percent less than those with married parents.
It can be a difficult period of adjustment for everyone in the family. Here are some ways parents can make the transition easier for their kids no matter what grade they are entering:
Primary and middle school
Parents need to check their child custody rules issued by the court to determine the appropriate schedules. Regardless of how your marriage ended, communicating with your ex is crucial towards avoiding any potential misunderstandings or conflicts that could arise if either of you show up at the wrong time or don’t show up at all.
Inform each other about any potential sports that your child may sign up for that could affect when either of you pick them up. You also need to let your kid know who will be picking them up after classes on certain days so they know who to call if anything happens at school or they want to spend some time at a friend’s house. If your child is still struggling with the breakup, listen to what they have to say before assuring them that everything will be all right. Refrain from speaking negatively about your ex.
Preparing for high school isn’t that much different from preparing for middle school. You just need to be aware that organizing schedules might get more complicated since your teenager has many extracurricular options.
Once your child gets their driver’s license and starts driving to school on their own, you should send them a copy of your custody schedule so they know which home they will spend the night at during certain parts of the week. You might also consider starting a group chat between you, your child and your ex so everyone can stay up to date on certain changes in the schedule.
Even though you no longer have to worry about custody schedules once your kid steps foot on a university, that doesn’t you don’t have to deal with your child’s response to the divorce. These can be one of the most emotionally vulnerable periods of their life even if their parents didn’t separate. Try to call them at least once a week to check in on their progress. If they bring up the divorce, avoid badmouthing your ex. Your kid might be an adult now, but that doesn’t mean you should feel free to insult their other parent.
If you and your ex run into any troubles while getting ready for the new school year, contact a family law attorney for additional assistance on children and parent legal issues.