It is about that time of year whereby parents are involved with back to school shopping and tracking down the ever growing list of back to school supplies. In a few weeks the children will be back in school to meet new teachers, friends and to adjust to a different routine. The transition back to school can be a source of stress especially if the children’s parents are no longer together. The purpose of this Michigan Family Law: Back to School blog is to hopefully provide some tips to help remove some of the stress for the parents as well as the children.
- Purchase of School Supplies and clothing
In Michigan Family Law it is presumed that back to school supplies and school clothing are to be paid with child support. However, I encourage parents to work and pay together the supplies and back to school clothing as it benefits your children.
I often suggest to create of list of items needed, indicate what has been purchased from that list and then ask the other parent if they would be willing to obtain the rest of the items. This approach has been more successful then purchasing the supplies and clothing and then seeking reimbursement.
- Shared Family Calendar and update regularly
There are several free programs and apps that can help families communicate and schedule events. It is common in Michigan Family Law Courts to require the parties to use a paid calendar service like ourfamilywizard.com.
Make sure that calendar includes but is not limited to school vacation time, homework deadlines, school photograph days, medical appointments, extracurricular events and other important events.
- Plan for inclement weather and no school days
Review your parenting time agreement to determine if there is some language that dictates what will happen when there is no school. If there is such language then you will need to understand and follow same. However, if there is not then you need to agree in a writing form, best way is via a Consent Order, what will happen during these times.
- Make Sure the school is informed
Inform the school if there has been a change in parenting time and whom is going to pick up the children. Provide the school with an updated version of the parenting time Order. If there is an Order for supervised parenting time then make sure the school has a copy of that Order; the Order should indicate that a particular parent cannot pick up the children from school otherwise the child could be released to that parent.
- Inform the Children’s Teachers
Teachers should be made aware of changes at home as it will then be easier for them to monitor the child’s behavior and performance changes. Keep in regular contact with the teacher to determine if the separation is having an impact on their behavior or academic performance.
- Backpack stays with the child
If there is a homework folder then keep the homework folder in the backpack. If there is important information in the backpack then make sure the other parent is aware of same.
- Parenting Time Facilitator
If the child is struggling in school then a change in the parent time schedule may be warranted. If you disagree with your ex-partner on issues pertaining to your children, instead of filing a Motion with the Court reach out to a competent parenting time facilitator to help sort things out. I have been appointed in numerous matters by the Court to help parents with parenting time issues and would be glad to help you as well.
At Stelmock Law Firm P.C., our skilled Michigan Family Law attorneys handle all aspects of Michigan family law cases. Your specific situation may be somewhat different from the norm; please call,734.927.9782, the Canton Michigan Divorce Lawyers and Family Law Attorneys at Stelmock Law Firm, PC to discuss your matter. We represent clients in the Metro Detroit area (Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Livonia, Westland, Ann Arbor, Novi) and throughout Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, and Livingston counties. The firm’s office is located at 8556 N. Canton Center Road, Canton, Michigan 48187.