It’s that time again, the start of a new school year. The end of summer brings a mad rush for new clothes, school supplies, and plenty of number two pencils. For divorced parents, the new school year often brings the added stress of dealing with custody issues.

Changes to the school schedule, new activities for your children, and special events all have the potential to disrupt your custody schedule. As a divorced father, it is especially important to be aware of any changes the new school year will bring that may conflict with the days you have your kids.

Confirm Days and Times

What time do your children start school and when do they get out? It is good to review this information and make sure you know the schedule for the upcoming year. These times can change from year to year as your children change grades. Even if you don’t take you children to school every morning, it is good to know when they are supposed to be there.

It is also good to review with your ex-spouse who is picking up the children on which days. Do you pick up the kids from school on Friday on then take them to school Monday morning? Or maybe you have Wednesday to Saturday custody? Now that the Summer custody arrangements are over, make sure everyone is clear about the Fall schedule and there are no problems.

Discuss Changes for the New Year

What new activities are your children doing this year? Are any existing activities going to take more time? Sports and other after school activities add new events on the calendar. Just like with the regular school schedule, review with your ex-spouse the days and times as well as who is taking the children to and from each activity. Taking your children to practice or rehearsal is an important event for every father, don’t miss out because of confusion over the schedule.

Map Out Events for the Year

Taking a look at the upcoming year, your children will likely have several special events. If your children play sports, make sure you have a schedule showing when and where the games or matches are held. If your child plays music in orchestra or the band, find out the dates for concerts and recitals. Also plan for any award assemblies or other annual events the school will hold. Have a list of all these events and make sure to keep it updated. This way you can be present for all the important events in your child’s school year.

While it may take extra effort to coordinate schedules and activities, the best part of the new school year is spending time with your children. A little planning now will take the stress out of the schedule and help you focus on your kids.

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