How can I establish a new school routine when I share custody?

The start of a new school year can be challenging for children and parents alike. If your children regularly split time with you and your ex-spouse, starting new routines can be especially difficult. You and other Minnesota residents may have questions on maintaining consistency and striking an acceptable balance when you share custody.

It can be stressful for children when their parents have different routines, explains HelpGuide. This does not mean that you and your ex should rigidly stick to the same schedule. It may not even be possible to parent exactly the same. However, if you strive to maintain structure when the children are with you, they stand a better chance of adjusting to their school schedules and transitioning more easily between visitations. The following tips may help:

  • Communicate your expectations to your children at the start of the school year.
  • Keep your routine the same, even if your ex’s parenting style is significantly different from yours.
  • Accept that you and your ex may not always be on the same page.
  • Attempt to communicate and be respectful toward your ex, even if it is difficult to get along.
  • Watch for signs of your children struggling to adjust, such as doing poorly in school, acting aggressively or regressing in behaviors.

Most children learn to adjust to different parenting methods and routines. You may need to seek help from a therapist or obtain legal counsel if your children are struggling or you continue to have problems dealing with the other parent. This information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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