What to do and know for Newly Separated Parents
It’s that time of the year again, and, for some this may be a first. The school year is fast approaching and for newly separated parents this can be an overwhelming and stressful time. This may be the case whether your child is just starting their academic education or entering into post-secondary studies.
There are several factors that parents will have to consider. These include what each party is to pay for relating to school expenses, registering the child(ren) for extra-curricular activities, pick-up and drop-off time and having proper access schedule/arrangements.
The Basics for School-aged Children
For parents whose child(ren) will be entering into the public-school system, parents should consider what, if any, monthly child support payment will be required, how to divide costs for school supplies, daily lunches, clothing, afterschool care costs, registering in extra-curricular activities, etc.
For example, if your child chooses to participate in after-school clubs, programs, and sport activities, there can be additional costs for the parents as well as challenges for the parenting schedule. These costs are occasionally covered under regular child support payments and can sometimes count as “extraordinary expenses.” When these costs are extraordinary expenses, parents usually agree to split the cost equally or pay a proportional amount of money based on their respective incomes.
Equally important, parties should determine what parenting arrangements will be made to care for the child. How much time will the child(ren) spend with each parent, how parents will facilitate pick-up and drop-off times and how school holidays will be shared. For example, it is common for separated families to use a familiar place for pick ups or drop offs of the child(ren) for parenting exchanges. For instance, a parent who is exercising access on the weekend with the child(ren) will often use the school to pick up the child(ren) on Friday afterschool and return them to school on the following Monday morning.
In addition, parties should consider how they will deal with events such as a parent teacher meetings and other school related events.
As such, this may require each parent to plan with the other to ensure an easy and smooth transition into the school year to avoid future disagreements. Not to mention, having a plan can make the whole process a lot easier for everyone involved.
The Basics for Post-Secondary
For parents dealing with their child(ren) entering a university or college program, there are several of other issues that need to be addressed. Under the law, children attending post-secondary institutions are considered still in need of support. Parents will have to determine their appropriate share for the child’s tuition costs, residence fees, textbooks and other school-related expenses.
QUICK TIPS AND TRICKS
- Plan ahead
- Communicate openly and positively with the other party
- Come to a written agreement between the parents involved
- Consider the child’s needs, views and input
- Arrange to get information directly from the children’s school, teachers, coaches, doctors etc.
- Seek advice from an experienced family law lawyer
You will want to sort out these issues without getting the children involved, but you may not know where to start. As the school year is quickly approaching, to help you navigate these difficult issues, contact us at AP Lawyers and one of our experienced Family Lawyers can guide you through the process and answer all of your questions.