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Co-parenting through your first school year as a divorced couple

Summer vacations are over, and your child has returned to school. It is also your first school year co-parenting as a divorced couple. Before, you and your spouse may have shown up for conferences and sports games together and sat together. You do not now, and it can be awkward.

How should you act?

Parenting plan guidelines

Ideally, any guidelines about school events would already have been addressed in the parenting plan. For example, the plan may have pointed out that even if it is one parent's week to have the children, the other parent is allowed or even encouraged to show up for plays, games, conferences and the like. If the parenting plan does not cover such areas, remember that, except for cases such as domestic violence or abuse, it is generally in a child's best interest to have both parents be involved. Be free with conveying schedules and other information.

Do not force things

Another tip is to not force things. That is, if you and your ex-spouse struggle to be civil to each other, it may be a good idea to sit separately. That can be awkward at first, but it is okay. Your children likely prefer that to seeing the two of you bickering about who got the house.

New people attending

You could be seeing red if your spouse brings someone to a game with him or her, especially if your parenting plan has a rule governing how long to wait before introducing new dating partners to the children. A general timeline is six months, so if the ink is barely dry on your divorce papers, it is really disconcerting to see your ex-spouse show up with an apparent date for the first game of the season.

First of all, keep your cool. You do not even have to approach your ex, and try not to leap to assumptions. Yes, your ex may be dating this person, but he or she could just be a friend. If you bring the issue up later, talk as calmly as possible.

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The Law Office of Steven C. Girsky
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Clarksville, TN 37040

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