In these waning days of summer, both parents and kids are gearing up for the new school year. For divorced or divorcing parents, the shift from summer schedules to school can sometimes be particularly stressful. When kids have homework and after-school and weekend activities, divorced parents who share custody need to be on top of scheduling issues.
At Westfield Mediation, LLC, we tell our divorce mediation clients that one effective way to ensure that everyone gets to where they need to be with less stress, is through shared calendars. In divorce mediation, we help parents create parenting plans, and there are now many scheduling apps available for divorced parents to coordinate activities (You can find some resources on our website. By plugging plans into the shared calendar, divorced parents minimize mistakes, scheduling conflicts, and arguments.
For children sleeping overnight in two different homes, parents should ensure that their kids have any necessary stuff – from homework to clothing to sports equipment available to them. Parents should create a quiet place for children to do their homework in each setting, and should stock up on some basic school supplies for each home. Similarly, it's useful to have a system in place to ensure that sports gear, musical instruments, special clothes, etc. are easily accessible from both homes. Shared custody during the school year is definitely doable, it just requires both good planning and flexibility.