Terry Fixel Highlights Tips to Make Back to School Easier on Divorced Parents

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As parents anticipate the upcoming school year, many newly-divorced couples may face complications in regards to staying on track with their child’s education. Respected divorce attorney, Terry Fixel offers suggestions on how to make this transition easier.

Across America, parents and children are preparing to return back-to-school—a time when routines change, responsibilities increase and students are expected to focus on education. For many families the back-to-school season can become stressful, but newly divorced couples it can prove even more difficult for the parents to agree on an approach to their child’s education. According to a recent article from The Washington Times “sixty million American kids are heading back to school this fall” and many of those children come from divorced homes. As a family law and divorce attorney, Terry Fixel explains that school presents unique challenges for families adjusting to a separation, but is a situation that requires parents always maintain that the child and his or her education is a priority.

According to the article, there are a variety of issues that can come up during the school year for divorced parents, especially among those that share custody. Unless a parent has certain restrictions in place, as determined by the court, it is the responsibility of both parties to make sure that they are on the same page in terms of how to handle their child’s education. In terms of back-to-school, many custodial parents will find that the additional costs, alone, will be an issue that should be worked out between both parties. The article suggests that if a parent seeks compensation for school-related purchases, they should make sure to keep a record of all receipts. In addition, parents who feel it is their responsibility to buy their child’s school supplies should not prohibit the other parent from offering to help.

Terry Fixel notes that even after a divorce is finalized and custody arrangements are in place, there will always be challenges that surface periodically. Throughout the school year, parents may discover issues regarding the child’s study or homework routine, grades, field trip chaperoning and emergency contact information. Both Terry Fixel and the article suggest that if the divorce was amicable enough, each parent should maintain open communication and make sure that each party is aware of any information regarding the child’s education. Terry Fixel comments, “Co-parenting requires coordination, cooperation and calm to facilitate the start of school smoothly for children who share time with each parent in two homes.”

Terry Fixel concludes that parents should make arrangements with the school to inform teachers of their situation, without alluding to any preexisting conflict. Many schools will accommodate divorced couples by sending out separate report cards and information as well to help make the transition easier.


Terry Fixel is an attorney with over 30 years of experience. Focused on family law, Terry handles cases surrounding matters of child custody, divorce, domestic violence and paternity litigation. Based in Hollywood, Florida, she also handles appellate cases. Terry earned her degree and the University Of Miami School Of Law. She is a “Member in Good Standing” with the Florida Bar, and she has served her Florida community since 1979.

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