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How To Handle Disputes Over the New School Year in Maryland

As you and your children look forward to starting a new semester, you and your ex-partner need to discuss how to handle disputes over the new school year. Whether changing school districts, graduating from elementary to middle school, or debating between private and public schools, your child’s education comes first.

Classes, extracurricular activities, clothes, shoes, and school supplies all require personal and financial investments. Consider these methods to manage your child’s schedule and expenses between parents.

Create a Routine 

Decide with the other parent what days and times to drop off or pick up a child from school or if a child needs to ride the bus on certain days.

Public schools in different districts start and end at different times based on whether they are elementary, middle, or high schools. If your child is moving up to another school, joining an after-school club or sport, or wants to ride the bus with their friends, you and your ex should discuss who is most available and able to help with snacks, homework, and chores.

Negotiate a School Expense Budget 

School supplies, field trip fees, and new clothes and shoes cost money. Does the custodial parent purchase everything and demand half the costs in repayment from the non-custodial parent? These items can be expensive. You and your ex should discuss a budget before beginning back-to-school shopping.

You can also divide responsibilities for certain supplies and clothes. Should one parent take the child clothes and shoe shopping while the other takes them shopping for school supplies and covers academic and extracurricular fees?

Decide Which Extracurricular Activities and Costs Are Manageable 

Sports, music study, art, and other extracurriculars require time after school and on weekends, incurring additional fees and costs. Can you and your ex divide the costs of buying a tuba and renting a marching band uniform while dividing the responsibility for practices, football games, and competitions?

Your child may also wish to join a recreational sports team or martial arts school, meaning the school can’t subsidize any of the costs. You and your ex-partner may have to talk with your child about limiting their activities to one or two events they particularly enjoy.

Meet and Communicate With Educators 

You should meet with teachers and explain that your child splits time between two homes. Children of divorce may act out in class, but it is never a child’s responsibility to inform teachers about their parents’ divorce.

Allow the School to Speak With Either Parent 

Unless your ex-partner has a protective order or other limitation against them, notify the school that they should speak with both parents about issues with your child’s behavior, grades, or health. Ask the school to set up duplicate parental notifications.

Struggling With Custody or Child Support? Contact a Maryland Family Law Attorney 

At the law office of Jimeno & Gray, PA, we can help you and your ex-partner with methods to handle disputes over the new school year. Call us today at (443) 232-9479 or schedule a consultation with a family law attorney.

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