Florida Family Law Attorney Says Divorced Parents Can Avoid Back-to-School Stress By Focusing on Child's Success

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By communicating with each other and sharing information about their child's education, divorced parents can find going back to school to be a positive experience.

Brian M. Moskowitz

Typically, divorced parents can agree on what it will take to promote their child’s future, and they will work together. When that happens, it can be a positive experience for everyone.

As children return to school in the coming weeks, it could end up testing relations between divorced parents, says south Florida family law attorney Brian M. Moskowitz.

Without communication and sharing of information about their child’s education, divorced parents can easily find themselves engaged in disputes over everything from which school the child attends to how much time the child devotes to homework each night, Moskowitz says.

“The key to avoiding those disputes is to focus on your child’s best interest,” says Moskowitz, whose law firm, the Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz, focuses solely on divorce and family law issues, including child custody (which is now known as timesharing).

“Divorced parents should take a step back and ask themselves, ‘How can we work together to ensure our child’s success in school?’” he says. “They might actually find that they agree on a lot of important matters. That can ease the strain in their relationship and, more importantly, help the child to thrive in school.”

Based on his experience in working with divorced parents, Moskowitz suggests that they address major issues concerning their child’s education in their parenting plan.

For example, the parenting plan can state whether the child will attend public or private school, and how the parents will share in the cost of their child’s tuition, tutoring or other educational needs. The plan can also set out a procedure that must be followed if either parent wants the child to transfer schools or undergo home-schooling.

“But there are limits to what you can address in the parenting plan, such as many of the day-to-day issues that parents of school-age children face,” Moskowitz says. “Those issues require parents to communicate with each other and really work together. They also need to make sure that information is flowing between both of them and the school.”

Moskowitz says that both parents should list their names and addresses on any important school forms and make sure that they both receive their child’s class schedules, report cards and test scores. He also suggests that both parents attend any parent-teacher conferences.

If the child has a project to work on during a scheduled timesharing (formerly known as visitation), the parent with the majority of timesharing should let the other parent know. Both parents should also keep school supplies at their home so as not to disrupt the child’s work.

In some cases, divorced parents can agree to adapt their timesharing arrangement in order to accommodate their child’s study or work on a school assignment.

“If you’re focusing on what the child needs, you may have to be flexible sometimes,” Moskowitz says. “However, any agreements to change parenting time should be in writing.”

In some cases, a parent refuses to consult the other parent in educational decisions or shuts out the other parent from information about a child’s academic progress. When that happens, Moskowitz believes the parent should consult with an attorney who understands these issues.

“Typically, divorced parents can agree on what it will take to promote their child’s future, and they will work together. When that happens, it can be a positive experience for everyone,” Moskowitz says. “But if that is not happening, then it clearly is not serving the child’s best interest, and a parent is entitled to take appropriate action.”

About The Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz

With offices located in Boynton Beach (primary), Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, The Law Offices of Brian M. Moskowitz handle a variety of family law cases for clients throughout southern Florida, including Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Wellington, Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. The firm charges flat rates for many family law services and handles cases that include divorce, child custody, child support, mediation, modification, relocation, paternity and adoption. For more information, call the firm at (561) 369-4481 or use its online form.


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