Coates & Davenport, P.C.

September 5 is almost here: Get ready for the new school year

The public school system in Richmond, Virginia, opens the 2017 to 2018 school year on September 5. While all parents are likely scrambling around to get things ready, those who have a child custody agreements might have some extra things to think about.

There isn't a lot of time to get things situated before the first day of school. However, now is a good time to review the child custody agreement and plan how you are going to make it work.

Think about communication methods

If you and your ex are co-parenting or splitting the child care responsibilities, communication is a huge factor. Your custody agreement might cover how you and your ex are supposed to communicate, such as if the court wants a parenting app for this purpose.

Another thing to do right now is to brush up on how you plan to handle talks with your ex. There is a chance that things might get heated at some point during the year. Make sure that you always remember to avoid using your child as a messenger and keep the tone almost business-like when there are potentially contentious matters to talk about.

Plan how you will handle activities

More than likely, there are going to be activities that your child will want you and your ex to attend. Making plans now for how you will handle these situations can help to make the event less stressful.

Place the focus on your child when you are at any school, social, or other gathering that includes both parents. These aren't good times to bring up things like child support, changing plans, or other concerns that could end up in a heated battle. The last thing you want is for a disagreement to overshadow your child's happiness.

Discuss the issues facing the new school year

Each school year, there are issues that might come up. Discuss these with your ex if you and he both have decision-making powers for the child. In some cases, making plans for possible issues ahead of time could make the situation easier to deal with if it does occur.

For example, if your child has a medical issue like a peanut allergy, decide who is going to respond to a reaction. Disciplinary issues, parent-teacher conferences, field trips, and similar occurrences are all things that you can discuss now to decide how they will be taken care of later.

You should also figure out what will happen if school has a late start, an early release or a weekday off. These might require that you make special plans, so take a look at the school calendar and figure that out now so you don't have to rush at the last minute.

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