Back To School – Best Tips for Divorced Parents

There’s no question that beginning a new school year can place a lot of stress on families. If the parents are divorced and doing everything they can to act in the best interest of their children, having a solid, actionable plan in place can reduce a lot of hassles and serve to make sure your kids are not adversely affected.

For those parents who have recently gone through a divorce or separation since the previous school year, The Law Office of Joseph Cerino wants you to be aware that there are some things to consider that can make life easier for the entire family. 

Talk About the Basics of Going Back To School

Kids are most concerned about the basic necessities that they’ll need to begin a successful and enjoyable school year. Things like books, laptop computers, how they’ll get their lunch, musical or sports equipment and more all need to be organized so that if a child is splitting their time in two different households, they are secure in knowing their things will always be there. In some circumstances, having two of certain items to be kept at two separate locations may make sense, but the key is to map out a plan so the child can head off to school without a hitch.

Advise Teachers and Other School Staff About the Situation

Today’s teachers – many of whom may have also been through a divorce – are very empathetic as to what your child is going through and trained in how to deal with their unique circumstances. Let your child’s teachers and other key school personnel know of the child’s new family structure and any related details, like who is responsible for dropping off or picking up the student on certain days to avoid any future problems. Good teachers can tell when a child is acting or performing differently at school, and you should ask them to be alert to any changes in your child’s behavior or noticeable drop in academic performance. Let them know you’d appreciate being alerted if they see anything out of the ordinary.

Talk to Your Kids About What to Expect

As the saying goes, “kids will be kids,” and some comments or questions from other students may catch your child off guard if they’re not prepared. If you are sharing custody with your children and they will be staying at different parents’ houses for certain periods, talk to them about how to answer any questions from their friends and other kids. Kids going through a divorce scenario are often scared, depressed, and very uncertain about their future. The more you explain your specific situation to them in a rational and clear way, the less stress they may feel when encountering personal questions at school. 

Communication and Consistency are the Keys to Success

“There is no substitute for clear communication not only between the parents, but also with their children,” said Fort Myers family law attorney Joseph Cerino. “Parents going through a divorce need to sit down and create a solid plan that covers every aspect of their child’s education, including everything from transportation, a calendar detailing the child’s schedule with both parents, which parent to talk to about specific issues that come up during the school year and much more – every detail needs to be covered,” he says. 

Children dealing with their parents’ divorce or separation often feel some responsibility for it, which can be a critical link to the child’s overall mental health and wellness. Sitting down with your kids and talking about the entire back to school scenario is a critical part of ensuring their well-being. 

Attorney Joseph Cerino is always available to answer any questions you may have regarding the best course of action for divorced parents with kids heading back to school. He can be reached at 239-561-2820 or by visiting


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The law office of Joseph Cerino handles all matters of litigation, concentrating in family law including divorce, custody, child support, paternity, alimony, property division and domestic violence, as well as, criminal defense and appeals in Southwest Florida.

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