How to Co-Parent Successfully During Back-To-School Season

Being a co-parent after divorce is not an easy role to take on. Then again, being a married parent isn’t easy either. If you have recently gone through a divorce and are now co-parenting with your ex-spouse, the start of the new school year provides both big challenges and big opportunities.

In a recent Huffington Post article, the author outlines three guidelines for co-parenting during the school year. They are fairly easy to remember because they are the same pieces of advice you would likely give to your own kids: Work hard to live up to your potential, be kind and respectful of others and make sure to follow the rules.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when you are frustrated over your child custody situation is that you are not co-parenting for your own sake. Rather, you are doing it to help your children. In this way, living up to your potential means finding a way to work with your co-parent to ensure that your children get the love, support and help they need to succeed in school.

As far as treating others with respect, the applications of this rule are two-fold. First, you should treat your co-parent with respect in your communications with him or her if you want to be treated in the same way. Second, you should make sure to avoid badmouthing your co-parent in front of your children. It doesn’t need to happen, it isn’t helpful and it sets a bad example for the kids.

Finally, be sure to follow the rules. This means sticking to the terms of the custody agreement as well as the verbal agreements you have made with your co-parent. If both parents work hard to stick to a schedule, maintain consistency between households and respect one another, the school year is likely to be much more productive and enjoyable for the whole family.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Back To School Rules for Co-Parents,” Risa Garon, Sept. 3, 2014

Attorney Natalie Stec

Natalie M. Stec, born and raised in Illinois, and earned her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her practice has been concentrated in significant pre and post decree marital and family law cases; including custody, visitation, support, and paternity matters. She has important criminal defense experience in both misdemeanor and felony cases. She is a very dedicated and passionate litigator. [ Attorney Bio ]