Many people choose to plan their divorces for summer, because the kids are out of school. There can be a lot of reasons why this makes sense for some people, but the fallout the next school year can be tough. Here are some simple steps that can help you get your children ready for school after a summer time divorce.
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Don’t wait until the last minute to tell your children about the divorce. If your children are old enough to communicate and understand the situation, you should address things together in an open and loving way. But do so early. This gives children the whole summer to focus on getting ready for changes.
Divorce usually means a change in circumstances. For instance, here’s a list of changes that a child might expect during and after a divorce, depending on the situation:
When explaining changes, it helps to make sure you are using age-appropriate terms to do so. Today’s Parent provides a great resource for talking to children, based on their age.
Don’t try to compete with an ex-spouse in an effort to see who can buy the fanciest backpack. Instead, set a reasonable budget, and communicate with your ex to determine who will actually make the purchases and who will pay for them. This may be covered in your divorce agreement. Either way, avoid double purchases, unless you plan to get duplicates in order to avoid having to worry about transporting lunch boxes and backpacks from house to house.
If possible, try to meet with a guidance counselor at your child’s school over the summer. Guidance departments generally work some hours over the summer months. If you know the child’s teacher or know who it will be, see if you can shoot a quick email just giving a heads-up. This way, when the teacher returns from break, he or she will already be tipped off that your child may be going through some changes. Children going through a divorce may act out or show attention-seeking behaviors. If teachers know about it in advance, they can be prepared. This will reduce the chance of your child facing a lot of unnecessary discipline, when he or she should really be getting comfort and understanding.
As tough as it can be, your child will be better off if you don’t start immediately introducing new people. Even if you’ve been divorced a couple months, the fact is, there are a lot of changes with a new school year, even absent a divorce. Give your child some time to acclimate to the new year, friends, and a new routine.
If you are struggling to work out your differences and feel the need to file for divorce, consider working with an attorney who can help take away some of the fear and frustration. Divorce does not have to be scary or frustrating. Often, information is the key. At the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. in Maryland, we work hard to explain your case and help you make this life transition as smooth as possible.
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