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A parenting plan can help you better navigate the school year

Learning how to share custody can be a taxing experience for most Colorado parents. When you throw school meetings, homework and after school activities into the mix, you could find yourself struggling to find the right balance for both yourself and your children.

Parents of young children lead busy lives, and juggling work responsibilities with family time and your child's school obligations can get tough. That's where having a strong parenting plan comes into play. When parents can anticipate the common issues that children and families deal with, they become much better prepared to go with the natural flow.

What school-related issues should be discussed and put into a parenting plan?

While almost all adequate parenting plans consist of visitation schedules, holiday planning, transportation details and much more, including school-related issues within them can also prove invaluable to a much-smoother relationship between all parties involved. The following are some of the most critical of these issues:

  • After school activities – Try to decide with your co-parent (if possible) just what after-school activities you feel are appropriate for your child, taking into consideration how the activity may affect family time for you and the other parent. Will your child be safe doing this activity? Will the after school activity leave time for homework?
  • Parent/Teacher meetings -- Discuss and decide who will attend parent/teacher conferences, one parent or both of you? Will one parent attend the meetings of one child, and the other parent attend the meetings for another? Each situation is unique, and by discussing it with the other parent, you may be able to determine what will work for you.
  • Homework help -- How will you handle long-term school projects? Will one or both of you ensure that assignments are completed and turned in? By creating a plan that utilizes the strengths of each parent, you may be able to design a plan that works for your unique situation.

General guidelines for making your parenting plan work

Drawing up the right parenting plan can go a long way toward a stronger relationship with your child, but your behavior during its implementation may prove even more meaningful. Two helpful tips to ensure this include the following:

  • Avoid unnecessary conflict -- It is important to shield your child from conflict whenever possible. Try never to argue in front of the child, and don't sweat the small stuff. Your child will be happier for it, and that's what is important here, right?
  • Think about your behavior -- What kind of impression do you want to leave on your child's teachers, coaches and peers? By presenting yourself in a positive, tactful manner, you will encourage peaceful communication and help your child feel more comfortable at school.

What if you need assistance?

Whether you find trying to create the most adequate parenting plan an overwhelming challenge due to all of the intricacies involved or you are receiving little to no cooperation from the other parent, there are resources available to help you. An experienced family law attorney can ensure your child's best interests are protected while carefully making sure all necessary details are covered in the creation of your formal parenting plan.  


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