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Using child custody agreements to address back-to-school matters


Parenting after a high-conflict divorce is often much harder than most people realize. Advice that might be suitable for those who are effectively co-parenting per their child custody agreements usually does not apply to parents in high-conflict situations. Back-to-school time can further strain tensions between parents who continue to engage in ongoing acts of aggression after divorce

Even for children who are enrolled in Texas’ public school system, attending school is not cheap. From purchasing classroom supplies, personal items — such as backpacks and pencil boxes — and back-to-school clothes, the costs can quickly add up. Co-parents are often advised to simply split the bill or address school costs as the need arises, but this is not a good idea for high-conflict parents. To avoid conflict over these expenses, parents who struggle with unrelenting malice and continual court actions should address how these costs will be handled in their divorce decree.

Parent teacher conferences are also opportunities for potential hostilities. Although most parents want to be actively engaged in the lives of their children, it is generally ill-advised for those who are still at odds with one another to both show up for a conference. Some schools will offer separate conferences if really necessary, but it might be more realistic for one parent to attend a fall conference while the other attends one in the spring. Like with educational costs, parents can outline who will attend which conference prior to finalizing their divorce.

Texas parents who are in the midst of high-conflict divorces might not realize how important it is to address as many potentially hostile situations as possible. Dealing with school matters might not even occur to parents whose children are still too young to attend. While it can be frustrating to realize there is no guidance on a difficult matter, high-conflict parents can choose to return to court in order to modify child custody agreements as necessary.

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