Planning Is Key for Divorced Parents at Back to School Time

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Family law attorney in Baton Rouge, Joseph K. Scott, III, suggests methods and practices to help parents in co-parenting situations to manage the difficult and stressful back to school issues.

Baton Rouge lawyer, Joseph K. Scott, III

It is commonly known that kids are creatures of habit and as the lazy days of summer draw to a close, divorced parents need to get organized and plan just a bit more than other households. Sharing some tips on how to keep kids focused on school and not the parent’s relationship (or lack thereof) takes some work but will come with the reward of having done the best for the family’s children.

“Organizing for back to school includes planning out the entire year in advance. All of the adults involved, and sometimes this includes grandparents, need to get out their calendars, along with the school’s calendar and work out holidays, breaks and other school functions,” says Joseph K. Scott III, Family law attorney in Baton Rouge.

Another tip Mr. Scott frequently tells clients is to buy everything in duplicate. This includes school supplies, uniforms and textbooks if it is affordable to do so. Saving the parents and the children the stress of leaving things behind at the non-custodial parent’s home, extra driving and time spent searching for things can add to long days of school, activities and homework.

Often parents complain to Mr. Scott of the expense of buying two of everything. Many parents often find themselves angry with their ex in these situations and wind up paying their lawyer to write letters, make calls and mediate situations. It’s far less expensive to just buy in duplicate.

Another tip Mr. Scott tells clients is to make sure to stay involved in the child’s school, even as the non-custodial parent. This may mean letting the principal or office know to notify all parents with grading reports, discipline problems, teacher conferences and any other situations that arise. Often the school is unaware of the parent’s status and can be a valuable partner in keeping everyone involved with the child’s life. Sometimes, the school will “pick sides,” and actively interfere with communication, requiring legal intervention.

“If the parents can’t communicate without fighting, find a way to let them know about important events, plan changes, or extracurricular activities without using the child as a messenger. It’s not the kid’s responsibility. Texting and e-mail are the best ways to communicate so that there is a record of these communications,” explained Mr. Scott.

Another situation that Mr. Scott has seen over the years is the tendency of parents to use school, sporting events, or club meetings as a custody transfer point. If the parents have a friendly relationship this usually isn’t a problem. However, many parents use these face-to-face meetings to bring up grievances, rehash an old argument, or berate the other parent. If this is the case, transfer should take place at a neutral site away from the child’s friends and teammates, not to mention other parents.

“I always tell my clients, the kids didn’t ask for this situation. Planning has the advantage of no surprises and helps kids feel secure,” said Mr. Scott.

Keeping the child’s stress level at a minimum and working together as much as possible for the good of the child can help keep them focused on school, give kids the confidence of knowing they have a stable home situation and not let them play one parent against the other with guilt or anger.

Joseph K. Scott III, is a Baton Rouge divorce lawyer with over ten years’ experience. Prior to attending law school he was a teacher and worked in educational television. Mr. Scott has also been a law clerk to a juvenile court judge and worked extensively with children in need of care and families in crisis. He has two teenagers of his own and understands the stress of modern parenting.

To learn more about Mr. Scott’s practice, please visit the website at http://www.josephkscott.com/ or call 225-381-8080 to make an appointment for a consultation if you’re seeking a Baton Rouge divorce lawyer, have custody or community property issues. (This is a press release, and is not to be construed as legal advice – everyone’s family situation is different, and every legal problem has to be analyzed on its own facts and in light of your history with the Court, or lack thereof.)

Joseph K. Scott III Attorney at Law
830 Main Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
225-381-8080 phone
225-336-4667 fax

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