Many divorcing parents fight over which school their child(ren) is going to attend. That can be a major legal hurdle. However, after the school is decided, you as a divorcing, divorced or never-married co-parent can do several things to ensure a somewhat smoother journey for your children throughout the school year.
1. Find out the name, phone number and email address of your child's teacher and other important school contacts, whether or not you are the primary residential parent. It is vital to stay in contact with the teacher to get regular updates on your child's progress. The teacher likely spends more time with your child than you do!
2. Don't rely on the other parent (or your child) to give you all relevant forms, calendars, permission slips, report cards, dates of important events, etc. Contact the school yourself and ask to have all of these items sent to you or made available to you online. Provide the school a copy of the custody order/agreement as there may be an issue in the future even if there is no issue right now.
3. Whether or not you are the primary residential parent for your child, help him or her with homework and school projects. It is not fair to make one parent the sole "homework police". Review your child's homework to see what he or she is doing, and to nip any problems in the bud. If you believe tutoring is needed, discuss that with the school and your co-parent.
4. Let the school and teachers know that your child's parents are going through a divorce (if true), or custody litigation, and to keep you informed of his or her behavior and attitude throughout the year. Teachers and counselors can sometimes spot problems before the parents can. This can include academic, physical, emotional or social concerns.
The more you can do to smooth our your child's journey through school during divorce or custody litigation, the better.