Deciding how to divide your parenting time will be one of the biggest challenges in a Minnesota divorce. You and your spouse both love your children, and you want to minimize the harm your divorce causes them. That is probably one of the few things you still agree about during this process.
So long as both of you remain dedicated to keeping the children your top priority, your divorce doesn’t have to cause major social and emotional damage to your children. The more carefully you prepare for sharing parental responsibilities, the less likely you are to have big challenges and hurdles arise that you can’t handle.
The school year has some unique issues that parents need to carefully consider as they decide how to divide parenting time and parental responsibilities.
What if the children must come home?
Perhaps the most pressing concern for parents about the school day is what happens if a child has to come home sick. It can be hard enough for married couples to negotiate an appropriate arrangement on the fly when behavioral issues or health concerns require that the children come home in the middle of class time.
The parent who has time with the children after school is usually the one who must pick them up from school unless you reach a different arrangement in your parenting plan.
How will you handle sports and extracurricular activities?
Whether your child wants to participate in 4-H or join the wrestling team, their practices and meets may eventually conflict with one parent’s scheduled time.
You will have to talk about how to share parenting time once there are more pressures on your children’s schedules. You also need to agree on how you will share the responsibility to transport them to practices and cover the costs associated with their new activities.
Who will volunteer at the school?
It is often necessary for one parent to attend classroom parties or to contribute a certain number of volunteer hours with the school or a sports team. The two of you may need to divide those responsibilities or negotiate who will fulfill them and how the other one provides support to reflect those additional responsibilities.
Addressing all of the most common issues that arise during the school year will help parents hoping to share custody with minimal conflicts create a functional co-parenting arrangement for their families.